Divorced dad and budding YouTuber Ken (Geno Walker) moves to a new apartment in a new city to make a fresh start after experiencing a nervous breakdown. When his long-time friend (Felonious Munk) notices an object inexplicably fall from a shelf in the background of his latest video, he, alongside Ken’s ex-wife (Kate Arrington), convinces him to capitalise on the phenomena by making ghost videos for his channel. Spurred on by his friends’ enthusiasm, Ken unwittingly finds himself in the centre of a vicious haunting.
Helmed by emerging genre director Jennifer Reeder, with a script penned by Brett Neveau, Night’s End starts off strong by presenting audiences with a claustrophobic horror mystery laced with an enjoyably pulpy atmosphere. The action gets moving at a brisk pace. Everything viewers need to know about Ken’s questionable state of mind and situation is conveyed through visual storytelling and snappy editing. A deliciously menacing synth score sets the tension at an ideal pitch while having just enough campy self-awareness to keep the spooky happenings fun. Moreover, a handful of well-placed scares and sneaky background details make for some effectively compelling moments.
Disastrously, however, Night’s End is unable to maintain its momentum past the halfway point and quickly falls apart in spectacular fashion. Whereas the initial act concerned itself with the careful construction of atmosphere while toying with the possibility of the paranormal, the second act goes all out on the supernatural angle at the cost of tonal consistency. The formerly minimalist plot devolves into exposition dumps and supposed rug-pull moments to bolster the horror, though the impact is the complete opposite.
Horrific effects that are too hideous to be labelled camp replace the carefully crafted scares that came before. Characters regress into one-dimensional caricatures of what the script was setting them up to be. And the central mystery becomes less interesting as events tick along. By the end, sitting through this film is like watching a plane crash and burst into flames only moments after seeing its smooth take-off.
Though its claustrophobic horror mystery and snappy style initially catch the attention, Night’s End soon spirals into an unsalvageable disaster – and that’s the real horror here.
Night’s End is released on Shudder on 31st March 2022.
Watch the trailer for Night’s End here: