Anthologies exist in an interesting realm. See, they need to quickly get the audience’s attention while swiftly wrapping up one story before going to the next (occasionally interconnected) tale. That is why, when present, the wraparound story is an effective way of introducing the viewer to the world. In the case of Night People, an Irish horror-sci hybrid, the wraparound is so enticing, that it is almost a shame that it was not the focus.
Written and directed by Gerard Lough, the film begins when two criminals, Mike (Michael Parle) and Luke (Jack Shepherd), break into a house. They intend to burn the house down as part of an insurance scam, possibly at the behest of the owner; that is never made very clear. However, for them to enact a clean getaway, they need to leave at a precise time. So, to while away the hours, each one of them tells a story.
“…for (the criminals) to enact a clean getaway, they need to leave at a precise time. So, to while away the hours, each one of them tells a story.”
Mike’s story begins when Adam (Eoin Leahy) and Robert (Aidan O’Sullivan) happen across a strange artifact. Adam, being the more tech-savvy of the two, looks into what the device is capable of, while Robert makes a few deals to sell off the artifact. However, as its secrets are unlocked, the two friends find that they might be in over their heads.
Next, Luke spins his yarn. Faustina (Claire Blennerhassett) runs a luxurious escort service catering to fetishists of all kinds. Matt (Phillip Doherty) contacts her because he needs a favor. See, he also caters to a niche clientele, just of a different variety. Faustina agrees but soon regrets the decision. See, it turns out that Matt’s clients are possibly vampiric in nature. The hunt for the truth leads Faustina down a dangerous path from which she might not get out alive.
Lough tries to incorporate so much into his three tales, that they can feel overstuffed. This is especially true of the first story told by Mike. There are the origins of finding the device, the ruse to steal it, then the main plot of figuring out what it does, then Adam and Robert’s own reaction to what the device is. None of these elements are bad exactly, with the dialogue, though a bit cheesy, properly exploring the big ideas at play.
"…The directing is the real star of the show..."