Night's End (2022)
Directed by: Jennifer Reeder
Written by: Brett Neveu
Starring: Daniel Kyri, Felonious Munk, Geno Walker, Kate Arrington, Lawrence Grimm, Michael Shannon, Morgan S. Reesh, Theo Germaine
NIGHT’S END (2022)
Directed by Jennifer Reeder
Streaming on Shudder
Divorced hermit Ken Barber tries to make a career for himself by recording online videos. On one of his videos, where he divulges his ‘long life tips’, eagle-eyed viewers notice that an object falls off the shelf in his room without it being touched. Suspecting it might be something paranormal, Ken digs into the history of his apartment building and discovers its awful secrets. As the supernatural instances continue to occur, he decides to seek professional help to banish the spirit once and for all but may have bitten off more than he can chew.
With a film that hardly leaves the confines of an apartment, much like its lead character, Shudder Original NIGHT’S END is one of the those horrors that likes to slowly get under your skin with its supernatural edge.
When we first meet Ken, it’s easy to assume he’s quite optimistic and successful with the way he interacts on-screen for his videos. It’s only after we learn that he’s the complete opposite. The fact he never leaves the house and keeps his collection of taxidermied birds in the refrigerator, sitting on top of his microwaveable meals, is disturbing to say the least. It’s clear he’s having some issues with his life, and it’s suggested he previously had drink problems, but regular video calls with his ex-wife Kelsey and her partner Isaac Dees (played by real-life couple Kate Arrington and Michael Shannon), and best friend Terry Gilson (Felonious Monk) seem to help him from being a total recluse. It’s these individuals who encourage him to pursue the notion that his apartment could be haunted.
Upon researching his building, Ken discovers that a young woman fell out of the window and died after trying to kill her father with an axe. Further research by author and paranormal researcher Clin Albertson indicates that her mother admitted to murdering her daughter after Roberta’s failed attempt on the life of her husband. Unfortunately for Ken, this means that his apartment is likely occupied by more than one spirit.
As each day passes, the paranormal activity increases and, as a result, Ken’s handle on the situation gets worse. He becomes increasingly frightened, not only of what lies outside of his flat, but also of what maybe lurking within it. His fractured state becomes a real worry when he starts to pick up injuries. Geno Walker conveys the serious effect it’s having on Ken as he further retreats into himself, appearing to be on the cusp of a breakdown. As he reaches out to experts, including the popular social media star Dark Corners, for help, you can feel that everything is about to come to a head.
If I’m honest, I expected more from NIGHT’S END. It seems to lose its way and veers into comedy territory rather than pursuing serious scares. Ken’s torment seems stretched out far too long to the point where I was beginning to lose interest and, unfortunately, the culmination of the haunting turns out to be more humorous than chilling. The supporting cast of Arrington, Shannon and Monk work well bouncing off lead actor Walker but by the final act the film gets a little too daft. A promising start let down by a mediocre middle and an ending that felt alien to the rest.