Wednesday, December 06, 2017

The Night Seekers – review

Director: Menetie T. Ejeye

Release date: 2014

Contains spoilers

So, I spotted this one on Amazon Prime and, if I’m honest, it was the name that attracted my attention. The trailer looked fairly poor and it looked more like a zombie or mutant/diseased type film. But I did some digging and found a review on Black Horror Movies. Having read the review I inwardly groaned as I read these words: “what the “night seekers” are (basically, lazy vampires)”.

So, ‘Vamp or Not?’ it was to be, until I just decided that yes, they are vampires. No, I don’t need to go into a specific examination of the film to discuss that… God it’s awful and I’m going to have to review it and… if you are a vampire genre completist, as I am, you’re going to have to watch it too.

Justin and Tamara
So, we start off with a horrible night shot of running through the woods and the worst day for night type filter I have borne witness to. Then we cut to Justin (William F. Bryant) and Tamara (Kristin Lorenz) and we don’t notice anything other than there is a horrible bleached out filter applied to the picture. Honestly, it’s horrible and is applied through the film. They are getting together with their group of friends decide where they are going on holiday this year. Other than one dissenting voice from Jose (David Santana) for Mexico, they agree on Astro Island – a place that Justin has maps for.

Menetie T. Ejeye as manny
As for the friends, there are four couples, we have Justin and Tamara, – Jose and Cynthia (Bella Favela), Manny (Menetie T. Ejeye) and Tanya (Shah Granville), and Jonathan (Nathan Truong) and Lin (Jeannie Fedorak Cocit). As an aside, notice the poster/cover has the character names not the actor names on it! Justin has arranged all this in two weeks and has booked for them to stay on the outskirts of the city in a house owned by Mimi (Jill K. Allen). When they get there, they are vocal about the smell, Mimi appears to have one room for the eight of them and her sinister man-servant (for want of a better word), Sam Man (John Delaney), takes a mute (it appears) shine to Tamara – causing Justin to declare that she is his.

Shah Granville as tanya
That night the women sleep in the one bed and the guys on the floor – it doesn’t matter because they’re only staying one night – and Justin wakes to find Tamara missing. He goes into a loud search and finds her on a couch – she claims she doesn’t know how she got there (and thus hints at somnambulism). Manny has made a joke about Sam Man taking her, but Manny is one of the singularly most annoying characters in a film... ever. Anyhoo, Mimi warns them about going in a certain direction – it is forbidden and no human or living thing goes there. They meet their tour guide Roberta (Adriana Sheri) who immediately takes them there.

graffiti 101
OK, long story short time. Tanya freaks about going to the forbidden zone, Roberta says there is nothing wrong with the place (and the two bitch at each other ad nauseum through the film) as Cynthia gets jealous of Roberta (cause… Jose) and Jonathan sleeps – he has narcolepsy and falls asleep each scene. (A lost) Roberta pulls up at a cabin (read nicely furnished house) and suggests they break in for the night! The cabin – in the forbidden zone where no human goes – has electricity and food in the cupboards and fridge. They do a lot of driving off and ending up back at the cabin (and running low on gas), unable to get anything but static on their mobiles, whilst Tamara declares everyone doomed and starts drawing a monster picture on the wall in her sleep. Eventually the creatures attack.

Jonathan eviserated
So, they are described as human creatures; part human, part creature… did I mention how bad the dialogue is... No? It’s really poor. I mean, really blooming poor. They break in the house and go for the fridge (I kid you not) until they see someone and then we realise they can speak (in a monosyllabic way). Jonathan is the first to be got and they go for his stomach, ala a typical zombie attack, but with later victims they do bite the neck; however the inference is that they eat all the flesh. The gang hide until dawn… because they are in a film called Night Seekers, I guess. In the AM they go to the woods to find sharp things as weapons, yet we never see them with weapons (or fighting back)!

sleeping upside down
So it is a traipse through the countryside to try and get back to the not forbidden bit, and a desperate attempt not to get suburban America in shot. Honestly, concrete underpasses that are described as caves. A school bus they find, in a car park, with buildings in shot… in the untamed wilderness of the forbidden zone! We discover that they sleep during the day, upside down, like bats – and Tamara starts doing the same. But actually, the Night Seekers are just guys (all black guys, for no explained reason) in boiler suits or hoodies with gunk on their faces to make them “creatures”.

portrait of a night seeker
I mentioned the review I found called them lazy vampires… to be honest I don’t know why lazy, they did traipse a long way after their prey (it was 30 miles from Mimi’s to the edge of the forbidden zone). However I find myself agreeing with the most of that review. This is an awful film. The filters on the camerawork are rank, the stagecraft meant to suggest they are out in the wilderness was laughable, the dialogue was (at every point) ridiculously bad and the delivery thereof shocking. There was little tension, little to no characterisation, no communication of narrative background. It was just poor in all ways. 1 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.

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