- Director: Eli Horowitz
- Writer: Matthew Derby, Eli Horowitz
- Stars: Winona Ryder, Owen Teague, Brianne Tju, John Gallagher Jr., Dermot Mulroney
As someone who is lucky enough to have gotten older (I mean it’s all relative), sometimes it sucks. Things start to hurt and mentally you tend to gravitate toward things that make you feel just a bit younger. Kath (Ryder) has certainly gravitated toward Max (John Gallagher Jr.) a younger man. On their way up to a secluded mountain top house for the weekend, Max and Kath arrive after dark to find that another couple Al (Teague) and Greta (Tju) are already there. After a bit of negotiation, Max and Kath get to spend the night and they get to know Al and Greta. It becomes very apparent that Max and Greta have an instant attraction and after a very personal board game creates an awkward moment, Kath decides to leave the others playing and goes to bed. When she wakes up, she finds an upset Al who says Max and Greta have run off. Kath eventually drives back home feeling weird about the situation, even more so when Max doesn’t answer any calls and completely ghosts her. As her need to know what happened increases Kath contacts the owner of the property Barlow (Mulroney) to try and find Max, Al or even Greta.
Horowitz does a good job keeping the information that Kath (and we as the audience) is after. Little by little there is more revealed which helps fill some of the puzzle pieces. The reveal of these pieces is done almost exclusive through a non-linear structure, however this is why the film works for the most part.
Ryder is her usual self, disarming and slightly kooky but adding a realness to Kath. The script goes heavy on the ageist commentary and the ruminations on ageing in general (not that Ryder looks in anyway like an ‘old’ woman) but Ryder plays Kath low-key and that really works. Gallagher Jr’s Max also plays him natural and just like your regular man-child, a guy who is fun but also one that is not really equipped for relationships. Teagues’ Al is the out of place character in the film, sullen and creepy but it has to be said that his reasoning for his demeanour is justified. Tju (Greta) is the one actor you will remember from the film, playing her role perfectly. A riff on the manic, pixie dream girl trope and it pays off well when she can get into the character more. Mulroney (Barlow) is understated, trying hard to look old and not as good looking is difficult because, well he is. It’s a good performance though that reminded me of Sam Neill for some reason.
When we get to the third act though, the film gets a bit loose. All the bits we’ve been fed previously come flooding in and it’s not too hard to figure out but it is not really in keeping with the rest of the film. Sure, it does manage to keep one surprise up the sleeve but it’s Kath’s actions from one moment to other that are inconsistent. If the film had followed through on Kath’s intention (I’m keeping it vague to avoid spoilers) it would have been a better ending and one that would be in line with everything that had come before it. None the less, Gone In The Night is a well made film and one that one would be perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon watch.
Gone In The Night is in Cinemas now and will be available on demand on August 2 (USA)
Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78