Review: Horror film ‘Against the Night’ sports a cool location, but little else

Luke Persiani, left, in the movie "Against the Night."
(Gravitas Ventures)

The key to real estate success may be location, location, location, but the same cannot be said for filmmaking. Writer-director-producer-cinematographer Brian Cavallaro chose Philadelphia’s creepy Holmesburg Prison, but unfortunately, that’s where the innovation ends with this silly horror movie.

Amateur filmmaker and professional jerk Hank (Luke Persiani) somehow convinces his friends that their night can be better spent making a fake ghost hunter video at the abandoned Holmesburg Prison instead of staying in and drinking. When they arrive at the location, mysterious events begin and the terror feels very real … to everyone but the audience.

“Against the Night” does little to distinguish its nine characters — particularly its women — other than offering that this one is the lesbian, this one is the exhibitionist, this is the final girl, etc. These nine people are indistinguishable, and we can’t be bothered to care — or even notice — when they begin to die.

Holmesburg Prison is real and seemingly tailor-made for a horror movie, though Cavallaro’s shooting style often obscures the architecture. However, the director gives the audience a story that takes off in as many directions as the prison corridors, leaving us lost and dazed. But unlike the characters, the viewers never feel a moment of fear.



‘Against the Night’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 26 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood

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