Review: The Spine Of Night (2021)

  • Director: Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King
  • Writer: Philip Gelatt, Morgan Galen King
  • Stars: Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Joe Manganiello


The Spine Of Night is like an old fantasy novel & D&D campaign by way of an 80s style adult animation film. It’s crazy violent, magical and old school yet in a way it is refreshing to see a full on mature animation film.

The film starts with the swamp witch Tzod (Lawless) making her way up a mountain to the cave of The Guardian (Grant) who is protecting the Bloom. A blue flower that holds immense power (with the right know how). After she gets there, she recounts the story of the bloom and its effect on mankind. Through these small snippets we see the people that play a role however small, large or ever lasting, these stories work on varying levels (like any anthology) but the stories that do work are nothing short of amazing. The violence is the film is breathtakingly brutal, every death imaginable is here in all its gory glory and the finale is visually spectacular as well.

The Spine Of Night isn’t meant to be coherent in its stories and it works well by doing this. The voice choices are a little strange but it doesn’t take you out of the film once you get accustomed to it and just go along with the film. The overall theme of the film is depressing, taking a big swipe at religion and suggesting that anything and everything that we do is all for nothing, but hey they may just be right.

For fans of the 80s style animation films like Heavy Metal, this will bring back some nostalgia and for those that are acquired fantasy fans through shows like Game of Thrones, will also find something to like throughout. The Spine Of Night doesn’t break new ground, nor is it perfect but there is a real charm to it. Worth seeking out.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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