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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 ...
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.
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).