However, none of the plots have the time to breathe, so it is hard to figure out what is going on. The performances by Leahy or O’Sullivan do not help this. They do not embarrass themselves or anything like that, but they are a bit dull. Maybe it is because the storyline is pulling them in so many different directions, I am not sure.
The other yarn is much more engrossing, though it takes a while to get going. Without spoiling too much, Faustina goes about her inquiry into Matt’s business in a realistic way. Where it leads, and its conclusion is full of intense moments. But again, the first 15-minutes or so of this story is just dryly delivered exposition. Blennerhassett is terrific as Faustina, bringing an edge and energy to the character that makes her instantly engaging. Doherty is also quite good, as the calm and collected, possible vampire.
But it is the wraparound story that is the most singularly visceral and captivating. The idea that these two would break into a house just to burn it down is an idea worth exploring. That there’s more going on than just that is a given. But those twists and turns enhance, rather than distract, what the audience knows about these two. Which, sadly, is not quite enough. Some bits of backstory are sprinkled in here and there, but, obviously, the other tales cut it short. Expanding this, maybe with a prologue about how Mike got into this business and how he and Luke met would have been enough to have this section reach 70+ minutes.
“…singularly visceral and captivating.”
Parle owns his relatively brief screentime in a big way. His charm and total command of the space creates an energy all its own. While the other actors are okay to very good, when Parle’s not on screen, Night People lacks a certain intangible quality.
However, the biggest reason to check out Night People is for Lough’s remarkable direction. He might have overdone his stories to varying degrees, but he knows exactly how to rattle the viewer’s cage and present a gorgeous, eerie feast for the eyes. He favors long shots that continue until all watching feel remarkably uncomfortable. This holds true even when nothing happens. Luring the audience into a sense of tranquility before upending it truly makes for a creepy watch.
At nearly 2 hours, Night People is a little too long. The two stories presented after the wraparound, take a bit to get going and maybe try to do too many things at once. But, the acting, for the most part, is good, especially Michael Parle, who is a commanding presence. The directing is the real star of the show, though. Gerard Lough creates a visually stunning, horrific work of art. While flawed, people looking for an elevated horror experience would do well to seek this out.
"…The directing is the real star of the show..."