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7 Nights of Darkness

USA 2010
produced by
Allen Kellogg, Spencer Jay Kim (executive), Mathius Mack Gertz (executive), David P. Thomas (co-executive), Sean Lackey (co-executive) for Post Industrial Pictures
directed by Allen Kellogg
starring Jennifer Mae Hoffman, Allen Kellogg, Meredith Kochan, Larry Nering, Andrew Richardson, Tom Sperry jr, David P. Thomas, Jessica A.Fleming, Sean Lackey
written by Allen Kellogg, special makeup effects by Andrew Tarkin, visual effects by Allen Kellogg

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The premise: 6 people from various drives of life are to spend 7 nights in an allegedly haunted house for a reality TV show, and have to fulfill one task every night. Apart from one of them, Lina, these guys are less than interested in haunted houses, occultism, ghosts and all that stuff, but there's a big money prize (one million bucks) to be equally divided between all who make it through, money all of them need bnadly. And then there's of course TV-fame ...

The first night comes and goes without any occurences, so this looks like easy money, but on the second night, while our six heroes are holding a seance (their task of the day), Lina falls into a catatonic state the others can't bring her out of. The next day, while the others are perfroming another of their silly tasks, Lina shows up again - and violently attacks the others. She can be overcome and is strapped to a chair though. Later, one of the gang, Randy, who thinks she was planted by the studio (like himself, as it soon turns out) tries to get her to give up the act, when she changes to a ghost before his very eyes and gives him the scare of his life.

Randy decides it's time to leave the house, but he doesn't get far, the ghost catches up with him ...

The others, though duly warned by Randy, decide to stay on - after all, they all need the money. They even go on with the daily tasks, which include another seance. Then another teammember disappears, and yet another gets dragged into the netherworld right from his room. The last two survivors, Carter and Brooke, figure the best chance they have to make it through the last night is to lock themselves into a room nand stay with each other, because so far, the ghost - apparently a little girl, who makes her presence more and more known to them - has only struck those who walked away from the flock ... but when Brooke hears one of their friends scream for help, she can't but rush to what she believes is his rescue, and - they, too, are doomed.

 

When The Blair Witch Project hit the theatres in 1999, everyone was totally taken by the film's found footage approach to its story - which was not exactly new event hen, but made it an original stand-out from the mainstream crowd. Over the years, quite a few movies tried to recreate the found footage feel of mystery of The Blair Witch Project, with varying degrees of success, but eventually, the technique had simply put outstayed its welcome, especially when films like Cloverfield or Diary of the Dead used it for no discernible reason.

So, by 2010, the last thing anybody needed was yet another found footage film - and along came 7 Nights of Darkness ... and against all expectations it worked quite beautifully. The reasons for this are manyfold: On one hand, the reason these kids are carrying cameras is deeply embedded in the film's story, is one of the roots of the story, on the other, the shocks are well placed within the film's aesthetics, do not take back-seat to the shaky cam approach. On yet another hand, the narrative buildup so often amiss in found footage movies is well carved out here, and the mystery is allowed to blossom without being explained away, and on the fourth hand, a decent cast doesn't hurt one bit either.

In other words, watch it - even if you're sick of the found footage craze (and who can blame you).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD

 

 

Stell Dir vor, Deine Lieblingsseifenoper birgt eine tiefere Wahrheit ...
... und stell Dir vor, der Penner von der U-Bahnstation hat doch recht ...
... und dann triffst Du auch noch die Frau Deiner (feuchten) Träume ...

 

Und an diesem Tag geht natürlich wieder einmal die Welt unter!!!

 

Bauliche Angelegenheiten
ein Roman von
Michael Haberfelner

 

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