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Fear the darkness inside you.

This is the bold tagline that director Rich Ragsdale and his creative team wish to instil fear into their audience with for his feature debut behind the lens. 

In order to evoke any sense of trepidation however, you must first look at two essential ingredients; chemistry and atmosphere. Both of which are sadly lacking here. 

It takes a full 30 minutes of wading through our two leads Grace (Scout Taylor-Compton – Halloween) and her boyfriend Jack (Nolan Gerard Funk – Truth or Dare) struggling to connect on screen. 

Grace is driven by the quest to find the parents she has never known. Following an ominous lead, the couple end up at a remote house surrounded by curious totems, shrugged off as a Southern thing and there’s no sign of their host. 

It’s not until Jeff Fahey’s cameo however as local Wayne, that things heat up and some gravitas is brought to the screen. It’s brief but enough to shake Taylor-Compton’s performance a little and give her more substance to the character. 

It is not quite enough though to ground this movie and propel the action forward despite the sinister looking satanic cult that have encompassed the property. These figures seemingly rely on their menacing presence and the odd mysticism to generate apprehension, but beneath their outer shell is a vacant entity; a symbol of the film as a whole.

Having said that, the movie does boast some nice imagery in places, a signature of Ragsdale’s eye for detail from his days as a cinematographer. It also has a worthy snippet from Deborah Kara Unger, who is always a welcome addition.

The Prognosis:

The Long Night offers a painfully slow descent into a nightmare that struggles to find its roots in terror.
There are moments of promise but all of this is squandered by lack of substance or flair.

  • Saul Muerte

The Long Night is currently available on DVD and VOD (iTunes, Google Play, YouTube Store, and Fetch TV) and released by Eagle Entertainment Australia.