“Dark Night” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

24 August, 2017

Director: Tim Sutton
Screenwriter: Tim Sutton
Director of Photography: Hélène Louvart
Eddie Cacciola, Anna Rose Hopkins, Robert Jumper

Synopsis: A meditation on intersecting lives set in a quiet suburban neighbourhood where a disturbed man plots to massacre a group of cinemagoers.

Dark Night Review:

A monstrous tale of unjust murder in armed America, “Dark Night” is a contemplative account of the alienating and crippling force behind contemporary living, removing itself from the soul of humanity and watching calmly as everyday moments lead up to a heinous instance of midnight terror. Closer to an Ulrich Seidl picture than to the moving genius of Gus Van Sant’s mass-shooting epitaph “Elephant”, “Dark Night” misses the observational intellect of fly-on-the-wall filmmaking, finding the perfect serial killer yet never seeing beyond the allure of his piercing green eyes.

Detached cinema at its most furrowed and austere, “Dark Night” provides little tenderness to match its monstrous subject matter, assessing a handful of kids during their most vapid years and signposting their lives with drab references to self-obsession, anti-socialism, and loneliness. Despite Tim Sutton’s clear fascination with the work of Harmony Korine, “Dark Night” loses points due to its lack of tonal consistency, hitting an artistic brick wall once Sutton discovers the loathsome nature of executing his mass murder without solid character development.

Failing to double down in its final moments, as neither laughter nor screams provide a suitable counterpoint for sheer barbarity, the film turns away from its promised massacre, fizzling out where it should erupt into carnage and climaxing where only a five-minute music video should end. While sporadically suspenseful in the lead up to its weighted moment of violence, “Dark Night” is as vague as the ambivalence behind its lack of conversation, making love to itself perversely without any clear purpose or emotion to push its beeline narrative.


Review Date
Dark Night