Jonathan Straiton’s Night of Something Strange has made a bit of a name for itself on the festival circuit. If you speak to audience members from any of those early screenings, you’ll undoubtedly be met with wildly conflicting opinions. Some say it’s the type of horror movie that they’ve been waiting for, while others call it “trash”, “sleazy”, or downright “rude”. The truth is: it’s all of those things, and that’s what makes this one so special. Straiton answers to no one other than his perverse imagination, and at a time when theatrical horror is packed full of predictable jump scares and tired ghost stories, Night of Something Strange serves as the crude and foul antithesis of tradition.
At it’s core, you could call this one a zombie flick, or a “viral outbreak” sort of film, but none of that really matters. If you’re going into this one expecting gripping character arcs or thought-provoking dialog–stop reading immediately. NOSS is all about the shock factor, and as a guy who feels like he’s seen all that the genre has to offer, I was prepared to be disappointed by early festival chatter… but I was wrong. This is a film that is every bit as offensive and shocking as you’ve been promised. If you’ve been reading/listening to Modern Horrors long enough, then you know my disdain for zombie films, but I love this shit.
Of course, this is a very small scale production, and that shows at times. But the vast majority of the film looks fantastic. Like… surprisingly fantastic for a movie that is 90% genital jokes (okay, maybe 95%). The problem is that the FX work lacks in consistency. There were times that I found myself cheering aloud at how wonderful a certain FX gag was; only to be let down by a CGI blood squirt or makeup effect. I was given a reason for these inconsistencies, but as valid as they may be, that doesn’t stop them from impacting the final product. Luckily, these moments are few and far between, and the glorious practical gags all but erase the lesser shots.
The same can be said for the directing and photography. Straiton impresses with a certain aesthetic that is woefully uncommon for a film of this… nature. Shots are well composed and even inventive at times. This, coupled with a cast that is obviously down for WHATEVER, goes a long way in creating a strange juxtaposition that simply “works”. It should go without saying, but Night of Something Strange is not for everyone. It’s a “love it or hate it” kind of film, and I think I love it–way more than I should.
Night of Something Strange is available on VOD platforms on November 22nd. Pre Orders are available now on iTunes.
Night of Something Strange [Review]
So Gross. So Fun.