Nightworld Movie Review
Written by Ali Chappell
Released by Gravitas Ventures
Directed by Patricio Valladares
Written by Loris Curci (story), Dimitar Hristov, Barry Keating and Milan Konjevic
2017, 92 minutes, Not Rated
Released on October 20th, 2017
Jason London as Brett
Robert Englund as Jacob
Gianni Capaldi as Martin
Lorina Kamburova as Zara
Robert Englund is back in full swing with my childhood crush Jason London in this suspenseful thriller Nightworld. I know what you are thinking… no one had a crush on Jason London, but have you seen Out Cold? Because, yes. He made snowboarding cool and that’s coming from a Canadian, but I digress.
Nightworld takes places in Sofia, Bulgaria, inside of a beautiful old building that has been turned into apartments that no one lives in but former police officer Brett (Jason London). He is the new watchman of the building. His days are spent going over video recordings from inside a creepy, poorly lit room and if he happens to see anything weird, in this empty room, he is instructed to call someone right away. He befriends a lovely young lady, Zara (Lorina Kamburova), who works at a coffee shop across the corner and gets her involved in his crazy new world. However, as the movie progresses, we see that weirder and weirder things begin to happen, yet no one can give him answers. When he sees footprints on the ground or a shadow move within the room he is supposed to be watching, he calls Jacob (Robert Englund), the blind former caretaker. We learned that this building is not what it seems to be; it’s hiding a very dark malevolent force that is trying to break in our world.
I am going to talk about what I liked about this film first because lately I feel like I’m just butchering every film I watch. So I’m trying to be nice. The building itself is pre-war and beautiful. The door to the room that Brett is guarding is a strong reminder of the Porta Sancta, or in English for you heathens who don’t speak Latin; the Holy Door. For those of you who aren’t well versed in Bible stuff and Godly what how’s, there are many holy doors per say, but the main one is in the Vatican City and can be found at St. Peter’s Basilica and it is beautiful. What? You’ve never been? Pfft! The reason this door is so powerful is that it is only opened every 25 years or so on the jubilee and the Pope has to open it. It was last opened on November 20th, 2016. When you walk through the door, you are cleansed of all your sins and can be sent into heaven. So, like, it’s a big deal in the Catholic Church or in that Kevin Smith movie Dogma with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as fallen angels. Solid film. Is there a reason why you are bringing this up, Ali, or do you just like to talk about religious stuff because you think you’re better than us? The correct answer is yes to both. The door represented in Nightworld is sort of the anti-holy door, as it is the doorway to the seventh layer of hell as depicted in Dante’s Inferno. Meaning that, if the doorway is not protected, evil demons will flood into our world. Ack! I love a good religious horror. Now you understand why it was so important that Brett keep a close eye on this room, he’s protecting us from the evil within.
I love Jason London. This is some of the best acting I have seen him do in the last ten years. Solely because the entire film his informing people that he saw something and everyone questioning him and he’s just like, “What the f---, this is my job, you told me to do this and now you’re questioning me?” He is literally everyone who works in retail. Robert Englund, of course, will never not be amazing in everything he does. However, having said that, he is underused in this film. It feels as though they casted him solely on his namesake and his pull within the horror community. His character has no development or arc, he barely contributes to the story except as a sort of narrator. Which, to be completely honest, is unnecessary because this is not a hard story to follow, but Englund does the best with the hand that he is dealt with this film.
This film has a great concept, it hits a lot of the notes that I enjoy in my cinematic adventures. Yet, somehow it just doesn’t work. The story is lacking and they didn’t use Robert Englund the way he truly deserves. I’m not saying don’t see it, I am saying don’t expect to be gripped by this tale if you choose to. However, we should all support Robert Englund and Jason London without question, so I take it back, go see it. Support them.