Night People


‘…a weird and disturbing late night watch…’

‘We didn’t say nice people, we said Night People’ was the tagline for the 1954 film Night People. But the title and promotional copy both feel just as apt for Gerard Lough’s 2015 horror film, which offers some of the roughness of a low-budget film but gets by thanks to plenty of narrative ambition. Like it or hate it, Night People is remarkably different from most horror fare, and will certainly leave you wondering WTF did I just see?

Some names are dropped, but for once, not too many; there’s name-checks for HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker here, and the British author is the one that gives the clearer indication of what’s going on here. The Green Sea’s venerable Michael Parle plays Mike, who alongside partner in crime Luke (Nigel Brennan) breaks into a remote house with the intention of torching it to ashes. For practical reasons, they have to wait to start the fire, and amuse themselves in Chaucerian style by telling each other stories. There are only two stories within this wraparound, so Night People isn’t an anthology story, but the manner in which the stories are intertwines is what makes this interesting in the manner of Bret Easton Ellis’s The Informers.

The first narrative concerns the discovery of a magical pyramid that works a bit like the Cenobite puzzle boxes in the Hellraiser films; covered with runes, it offers magical powers if used correctly. The second story is about a madam named Faustina (Claire Blennerhassett) who finds herself with a difficult debt to pay; are her controllers vampires? She’s using a Cronenbergian device to drain the blood of the unfortunate men she encounters, but this game proves even more dangerous than it sounds.

As with most low-budget films, Lough’s film does require a certain re-adjustment from the viewer; Lough has directed pop videos, and gets some striking shots, but some scenes inevitably betray a low budget. But you never quite know where you are with Night People, and although the stories all link up thematically and occasionally in terms of the mysterious objects, the tension is maintained until the end. A weird and disturbing late night watch, Night People might well find an audience via streaming in the Candyman reboot era; the Clive Barker vibe isn’t done to death right now, and horror fans should appreciate the dense, original storytelling on offer here.




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  1. Editing people’s comments? That’s a new low. Just when you thought they couldn’t stoop any lower…

    But, in other news, this sounds interesting. May give it a watch. Disturbing is always fascinating.

          • So, how’s this: you have to get Alex to make a positive, insightful and informed comment (without editing them) by the end of this month. If you lose… Uh, you have to dress up as one of three Amigos and sing My Little Buttercup. Pics or it didn’t happen!

            • I have pictures of me dressed as one of the Three Amigos, so you’re on. Any clues how I could get a positive comment from Alex, only been trying for a year…?

                    • So I should write a drama about Alex? And then review it in the hope of getting a positive comment from Alex? This seems kind of elaborate way to get his attention. Why should I search for a way of getting an unnatural comment from him? I’ll have to change him as a person, mix him with high society. Exhibit him at the Royal Society. Now, where the devil are my slippers, Eliza?

  2. Are these in the vein of the Tales from the Crypt show in terms of the type of horror or is it more horror’y horror?

    What’s going on with Barker? Is Hellraiser getting a reboot or something? I clicked on the Barker tag and this is the only review with it. Have you reviewed any other Barker films?

    • I just reviewed the original Candyman, which was a Barker property, and has just been remade. I like a portmanteau, mainly because you never know quite where you are with time, but this is more like a three story film. Quite smartly done, but deliberately oppressive in nature.

      At the end of the credits, this film said “NOT SUITABLE FOR BOOKSTOOGES’ so you can take the day off.

  3. Did this get any kind of release in 2015? If so, it certainly passed me by. Many of the best horror pictures were of the low budget variety so that is rarely a drawback and this sounds like it has overcome that deficiency.

    • Although streaming platforms are an indeal way to get product in front of viewers, it’s pretty hard for any low-budget film to make money or get a decent release. Thought this was of interest with quite a bit of interest in Barker right now.

      • Yes, interest in Barker growing. But not sure fans will get a true idea of his books through the current reboot which goes off at too many tangents and quickly loses the original idea.

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