SHUDDER EXCLUSIVE: Night’s End (2022)

Ken Barber (Geno Walker, who is great in this movie) is recovering from a breakdown, alone in a new apartment where he’s pushing his personal physical improvement while obsessively recording YouTube self-help videos that have viewers in the single digits. His apartment is filled with dead and stuffe birds, dying plants and newspapers lining the windows, further cutting himself off from the world outside his walls, his only connection being his ex-wife Kelly (Kate Arrington) and her new husband Isaac (Michael Shannon, who is seemingly loving every minute of being in this movie) and his best friend since they were kids Terry Gilson (Felonious Monk).

And then Ken gets into the occult.

Ken’s new apartment may be haunted by the ghost of Roberta Wellwood (Morgan S. Reesh) and after watching numerous episodes of Dark Corners, a paranormal webcast hosted by Dark Corners (yes, that’s his name and he’s played by Daniel Kyrie). With the help of a supernatural expert named Colin Albertson (Lawrence Grimm) and a spirit jar, he hopes to clean the spirits away from his new home and his life, starting anew, except that fate doesn’t always have a way of working out perfectly.

Directed by Jennifer Reeder, who made Knives and Skin as well as the “Holy Hell” section in V/H/S 94, and written by Brett Neveu, Night’s End is best when presenting the loneliness and disassociation of its protagonist instead of the poor effects near the ending.

Reeder said, in her director’s statement, that “Night’s End is a proper genre film with some aesthetic and narrative connections to The Tenant and vintage John Carpenter.” I personally don’t see the latter, but folks today sure do love to throw around Carpenter’s name.

That said, there are some good moments here. It’s just frustrating that the end seemingly comes out of nowhere with all the slow build, seemingly like almost a dream sequence within the story and not the actual build to the close of the film.

Night’s End premieres on Shudder March 31.

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