Editor’s Word: This piece was written through the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, and the film coated right here wouldn’t exist with out the labor of the writers and actors in each unions.
Once I consider Maggie Q, I consider the phrase badass. The actress has an extended profession as an motion star, which makes a movie like Worry the Night time an absolute no-brainer. Do you wish to see her destroy the hopes of would-be-robbers by kicking their asses? You’ll get precisely that with Neil LaBute’s Worry the Night time. The disappointing truth is that the film can be exponentially higher with extra substantial writing and extra assured directing.
The movie follows Tess, a battle vet who returns dwelling after a few years of deployment. She lives together with her sister, and so they have an estranged relationship, with distrust and annoyance from either side. The duo is invited to their youthful sister’s bachelorette social gathering on their household’s farm. Because the social gathering kicks off, intruders interrupt the festivities and demand the women give up the home, as one thing useful is inside.
After the primary interplay between Tess and the obnoxious, sexist group at a comfort retailer on the way in which to the social gathering, it’s clear what’s going to happen within the ensuing hours. It might have been attention-grabbing if these villains weren’t blinded by their obvious dislike for ladies as a result of that inevitably turns into their downfall. Between their flurry of colourful language to explain girls and their not-so-veiled threats, there may be nothing attention-grabbing about these intruders. Their reasoning for attacking the home and their vendetta towards Tess is simply fueled by stupidity and satisfaction. The film would have been extra participating if some precise crafty had been concerned from the intruders and the ladies.
Maggie Q is an motion professional. I’d say she deserves higher, however let’s be trustworthy, girls within the trade aren’t given practically sufficient anyway, irrespective of how proficient and deserving they might be. Right here, she is stoic, darkly humorous, and openly easy. There isn’t something notably difficult or new right here for Q, which is why it looks like she is sleepwalking via the entire thing. Nonetheless, that doesn’t negate the truth that she is entertaining to look at and an knowledgeable at her craft. If something, the movie doesn’t degree as much as meet her. By comparability, she is, by far, probably the most proficient actor on this ensemble, and she or he is given far more to work with. Everybody else modulates between awkward, snarky feedback directed at Tess, screaming and crying, then dying fairly gruesomely.
Worry the Night time’s manufacturing is overly simplistic, which accentuates how easy the narrative is. The setting is just not utilized nicely sufficient to create suspense or thrills. The villains are comically ineffectual, making Tess’s heroics really feel much less efficient. The motion is hardly compelling, typically feeling repetitive and uncomplicated. Nonetheless, the newbie nature of the motion displays a extra genuine expertise as a result of nobody expects these girls to be extremely skilled combatants. However some inventive aptitude would have helped. Whereas the film strikes at a brisk tempo, director Neil LaBute attracts out the moments of inaction for too lengthy. Regardless of the tasteless characterization of the intruders, there isn’t a purpose to have them be so feckless and the ladies so hesitant to combat again. Worry the Night time’s downfall is in the end the shortage of innovation and creativity.
Neil LaBute manages to infuse sufficient rigidity between the characters to maintain the viewers engaged, however with how issues stand, lots of the folks on display are disposable. Apart from Tess, there may be hardly any character value acknowledging, so little or no retains us hooked on who will survive and who will die. The ladies, excluding Tess, usually are not given a lot to make them value rooting for regardless of their antagonism in direction of Tess, which makes them downright unlikable. Nonetheless, their unlikability may be attributed to their flimsy characterizations and the way little we learn about Tess and her relationship with the ladies. All we all know is that she doesn’t like them, and so they don’t like her.
The dynamics wanted to be outlined higher, and regardless of some compelling filmmaking, the flagrant disregard for characterization reduces Worry The Night time to a mildly tolerable dwelling invasion horror. It isn’t value actively looking for out. Moreover, the conclusion ends on a bitter observe, additional evoking the “him versus her” mentality the film can not shake whereas alluding to the evolution of some hardly developed relationships.Worry The Night time is not going to encourage rave reactions, however some leisure will nonetheless be gained. Maggie Q is highly effective in that regard; she makes probably the most of what little she is given, making it appear higher than it’s. There is sufficient to maintain you engaged within the second, nevertheless it’s not sufficient to revisit.
Worry the Night time is now taking part in in theaters, on demand and digital. It’s 92 minutes lengthy and never rated.