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Beyond the Night

USA 2018
produced by
Robin C. Garvick, Erik S. Weigel, Becky Newhall (executive), Ashton Newhall (executive), Jim Lim (executive), Adrian Grenier (executive) for NewAley Pictures, SummerHawk Films, Reckless Productions
directed by Jason Noto
starring Zane Holtz, Tammy Blanchard, Chance Kelly, Neal Huff, Skipp Sudduth, Enid Graham, Sherman Howard, Beth Glover, Peggy J. Scott, Caitlin Mehner, Azhy Robertson, David Fierro, Maya Benharush, Jessica Vera, Joseph Castillo-Midyett, Prudence Wright Holmes, Trevor Peterson, Theodore Copeland, Seth Desrochers, Guillermo Arribas, Brenna Bialek
written by Jason Noto, music by Erik Nickerson

review by
Mike Haberfelner

After the death of his wife (Caitlin Mehner) in a car accident, Ray (Zane Holtz) returns home from his deployment in Afghanistan, first and foremost to take care of his 5 year old son Lawrence (Azhy Robertson) - and he thinks it's a good idea to move to the small town he grew up in right in the middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania, in hopes a chance of scenery would do the boy good. It's there that the boy starts seeing things, as if he was a clairvoyant or something - and he soon brings up the whole town against him when he starts talking about July Rain (Brenna Bialek), a girl that went missing five years ago, and that the town has since kept hush about. Ray, not really cut out to be a father as it is, is totally overchallenged with this situation, but his cop-sister Caroline (Tammy Blanchard) has an idea to bring in a "specialist", Dr Sheryl Bomont (Enid Graham), who soon comes to the conclusion that the boy is reliving a former life and is actually the reincarnation of July Rain.Of course, Ray and Caroline think this is bullshit, but when they put it to the test, the boy is frightingly accurate when it comes to remembering her life - accurate enough to alarm July Rain's father Bernie (Chance Kelly), a ruffian who has never got over the disappearance of his daughter, and who now wants to force the truth out of Lawrence. Ray and Caroline manage to shield the boy - up until he fingers the man who has murdered July Rain. And now all restraints are off for Bernie, and he wants lynch justice, with Ray, Lawrence and Caroline being caught somewhere in the middle ...

 

Deliberately slow-moving, this is quite a fascinating film that unfolds its mystery in a very unusual way and manages to make its supernatural premise wholly believable as one gets sucked into the story by the sheer power of the narrative. And add to that very atmospheric locations, a subtle directorial effort, and a rather great ensemble cast, and you've got yourself a pretty good movie.

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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the new anthology by
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Out now from
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