Come, Said The Night

Thirteen-year-old Sprout Grady grows convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods. Embarking on a mission to vanquish it, she uncovers horrifying secrets that rock the core of everything she thought she knew.

Down a winding road into a remote piece of wilderness, Roy Grady (Lew Temple) drives to the family compound with his son Percy (Tate Birchmore), and his 13-year-old daughter he affectionately calls Sprout (Nicole Moorea Sherman). “Alright critters, go explore. You’re home!” Roy declares to his children. Yet something is there, behind the lattice, watching them as they stumble out of the Range Rover and toward their home that betrays a mysterious presence.

Patriarchal oversight and guidance go horribly wrong again in the new mood piece from writer-director Andres Rovira entitled Come, Said the Night. Slow, meditative and ponderous we learn details here and there as their stay at the retreat progresses. It turns out there was a recent death in the family that everyone is still processing Older sister Magda (Daniela Leon) who appears only in flashbacks and visions as a free-spirited young lady who stood in stark contrast to her father’s more rigid demeanor. Percy has an oversensitivity to touch, wearing mittens of any sort while Sprout continues to blossom into womanhood, asserting herself occasionally while playing with her brother.

“…turns out there was a recent death in the family that everyone is still processing…”

The only real breath of fresh air that this family seems to get is from the park ranger, Ranger Stella (Danielle Harris) and her son Max (Max Woodhouse). A typical romance grows between Stella and the sorrow-filled Roy. Meanwhile, Sprout and her new friend max begin spending time together too. As the two tweens play it is very apparent that Max has a more grounded understanding of reality than Sprout, who has been raised by her religious father, far from the prying eyes of reason.

As the details slowly surface regarding the Grady family belief system and how this has affected the family, things obviously turn pitch black. As predictable as this turn of events is, there is still enough substance to keep us engaged. It isn’t really what will play out but how it will play out.

“…a methodical film that dances back and forth between the real and imagined, the concrete and the unknown…”

Andres Rovira has talent here for and it shows in his choice of casting and the ability to pull some genuine moments from his lead. While Lew Temple does an acceptable job as the troubled father to two children, this is Nicole Moorea Sherman’s film. Her moments of innocent fear, that slowly ease through the film into empowerment are a subtle arc that is a joy to observe. Lost in the shuffle is Harris’ upbeat portrayal of a single mom that has her park in check.

Upon reflection I slowly like Come, Said the night, more and more. It is a methodical film that dances back and forth between the real and imagined, the concrete and the unknown, and what it is to find your own place in the world despite where one has come from.

Come, Said the Night (2018) Written and directed by Andres Rovira. Starring Danielle Harris, Lew Temple, Daniela Leon, Nicole Moorea Sherman, Tate Birchmore, Max Page.

7 out of 10 stars

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