Night Out (2013) – By Kirsten Walsh

Matt and John have a terrifying “night out” planned for John’s wife, Darla, who is pregnant with another man’s child.

A simplistic premise, Calvin Weaver’s latest short film is an exploration in indie filmmaking at its best. Intriguing cinematography, stable sound, talented acting, and a strong storyline, it is easy to see why the film is doing so well on the festival circuit this year. As the story unfolds, it is obvious that this isn’t a traditional horror film, as the twists and turns pull in different directions. With the length of the film being just over twelve minutes, this is a great representation of the direction horror is heading.

At the midway point in the film, the story shifts from what seems to be a fairly simplistic kidnap and kill to something completely other worldly. Reminiscent of John Carpenter’s “Pro-Life” (“Masters of Horror” 2007), the subject matter deals with the birth and entrance of something larger than just a human life (or so it can be assumed). Weaver leaves a lot of room for interpretation, which works in his favor as he gives his audience more and more to confound and play with as the film draws to a close.

The overall look is fairly dark, because just like 90% of the horror films out there, it takes place at night. At some points, the play with shadows doesn’t entirely work and some things get lost in the darkness, but the contrast with the end of the film makes it worth it. The locations are beautifully extreme, giving the perfect setting for the piece, with the only thing not completely fitting being the music. With the look of the film, the music sounds too refined and not truly in the mood of the film in several places. Separately, the music is done very well, but together with the extreme visuals, it just is a little off.

Effects are always tricky to pull off, but this film shines with its practical and digital effects. Subtle enough not to detract from the story, but instead to add to it, Weaver walks the fine line between too much and too little. This film definitely leaves the audience wanting more, and teasing them into submission.

Would I watch this film again? Hell yeah. I definitely look forward to more of Weaver’s projects.

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