So I’ve not posted any reviews so far this month for the simple reason that it’s coming to the close of the year and I am busy writing the breakdown of the year, ranking all of the films I have seen at the cinema during the last twelve months. At the time of writing I have watched ninety-nine at the cinema, a record for me by quite a comfortable way, and I’m watching watching my hundredth on Wednesday night, so it will be a full rundown of 1-100.
But anyway, I took a break from doing that to watch a film for review, and I chose “One Night of Fear” at random. I knew nothing about it going in, I just decided to watch it blind, which has never proved to be a good tactic for me as usually I at least watch a trailer first.
I wish I had done that because it would have meant not wasting part of my life on it.
Katie (Sonneborn) and Rob (Dempster) have gone camping with some friends, but they are surprised to see the blood-soaked Jaclyn (Lorraine) run out of the woods. She claims that she and the other members of the group were captured by a man (Sutton) wielding a machete. That man quickly emerges from the woods as well, and the trio run from him and into a house. They are soon joined by the guardian of the house, Elmer (Forga).
The trio ask Elmer to drive them away, only to turn around and see the man taking a lot of vital wires out of the engine. He then soon starts lurking around the outside of the house, waiting for them to come out.
So why is it so bad?
I’ll put it this way, the best/only good part of this whole film is that is mercifully short at just over seventy minutes long. Let me put that into some context, I was less than 25 minutes in when I started looking at how much of the running time was available.
Right, let’s make a start. This is an horrendously made horror film for a variety of reasons, the worst of which is that the pacing is all of the place. This starts right from the off when a character gets into her sleeping bag to fall asleep (whilst it’s still bright and sunny) and the killer walks over straight away and beats the living crap out of her. There was no gap, no building of tension, nothing. This happens throughout the film as things happen at the EXACT moment that characters to need them to happen, such as one character looking out of the window just at the exact moment that the characters happen to be running back to the house, whereas in real life timing wouldn’t be that good,
The film just sets itself up to be criticised as the characters aren’t portrayed in a strong way. For example, one character is knocked unconscious when they are thrown in an extremely light manner into a door, and another gets a bloody nose from hitting a different door, even though their face doesn’t actually come into contact with it at any point.
Another strange decision about this is that Jaclyn is punched in the face by the killer at one point, and a massive bruise appears on her face within minutes, ignoring the general rules of biology, and what makes it even stranger is that the bruise constantly changes shape and colour. Towards the end of it seems like they ran out of budget for make up as virtually every shot shows her face from the other side, and they’re trying to not waste money that they don’t have by constantly re-applying the bruise make up.
The sound editing is all over the place. One second you can hear someone talking over the walkie-talkies and the person on the other end is really loud and clear, whereas the person who we can actually see is barely audible, and this continues throughout in which it almost seems like the microphone was in a fixed position, and not moved to correspond with who was speaking at the time.
I could sit here all day and talk about the issues with this film. It is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. It’s predictable, poorly acted, has poor audio quality and other than the mercifully short run time, I can’t think of a single good quality to the film. Infact, earlier this year I rated the five worst films I’d seen whilst reviewing movies for this site. If I did that again now then there is a chance that this would be included.
Also, just a final thought to end on……there are numerous films that feature a silent serial killer, why are all of them about seven feet tall? Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, the farmer in “The Cottage”, I could go on.
This is just bad.
I know within the first ninety seconds I would give a negative review to “One Night of Fear” and I desperately tried to find something to be positive about, but ultimately I was delighted when it was over and the fact it is only about seventy minutes long was the only non-negative I could come up with.
Avoid at all costs.