Movie Night

Synopsis

A couple on their first date watch a bootleg movie and discover something dark.
Movie Night

Review

3/5
A nightmare first date.
‘Movie Night’, written and directed by Matt Rosenblatt, centres around the first date of Chris (Skeeta Jenkins) and Rachel (Natali Jones). Horror/thriller short films can sometimes be a stretch to accomplish, mainly due to over-production and predictability, but ‘Movie Night’ delivers – primarily due to the simplicity of the narrative, performance and the still/slow panning cinematography.

After persuading his date to stay and watch a bootleg (illegal) movie, Chris cooks up some popcorn for Rachel, who already appears anxious on the sofa. We feel her discomfort. She certainly doesn’t want to be there. As they watch ‘Night of the Living Dead’, the tape glitches to a home video of what appears to be a murder. Rachel retreats to the bathroom to examine her thoughts and suspicions. Upon return, all is not as we are led to believe.

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The warm color-palette and cinematography play a key role in the success of this short. Supported by the unconventional slow-pan and the subtle performance of the cast, Rosenblatt’s 7-minute short manages to keep the viewer engaged. We fear for Rachel, played commendably by Natali Jones, but her date, not-so-much. Skeeta Jenkins brings an unpredictable tensity to the character of Chris that taps into our own inner-fears.

Not a short to be over-looked, any criticism; lack of dialogue and action, would only thwart the reason it works so well. A visually strong piece of filmmaking.

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Published in February 2021

Movie Night

Synopsis

A couple on their first date watch a bootleg movie and discover something dark.

Review

A nightmare first date.

3/5
‘Movie Night’, written and directed by Matt Rosenblatt, centres around the first date of Chris (Skeeta Jenkins) and Rachel (Natali Jones). Horror/thriller short films can sometimes be a stretch to accomplish, mainly due to over-production and predictability, but ‘Movie Night’ delivers – primarily due to the simplicity of the narrative, performance and the still/slow panning cinematography.

After persuading his date to stay and watch a bootleg (illegal) movie, Chris cooks up some popcorn for Rachel, who already appears anxious on the sofa. We feel her discomfort. She certainly doesn’t want to be there. As they watch ‘Night of the Living Dead’, the tape glitches to a home video of what appears to be a murder. Rachel retreats to the bathroom to examine her thoughts and suspicions. Upon return, all is not as we are led to believe.

Movie Night
The warm color-palette and cinematography play a key role in the success of this short. Supported by the unconventional slow-pan and the subtle performance of the cast, Rosenblatt’s 7-minute short manages to keep the viewer engaged. We fear for Rachel, played commendably by Natali Jones, but her date, not-so-much. Skeeta Jenkins brings an unpredictable tensity to the character of Chris that taps into our own inner-fears.

Not a short to be over-looked, any criticism; lack of dialogue and action, would only thwart the reason it works so well. A visually strong piece of filmmaking.

Cast/Crew

Director(s):
Writer(s):
Producer(s):
Director of Photography:
Editor(s):
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

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