Night Before, The. Dark, Twisted Fantasy A Progressing Nightmare
Director: Brent Bentman
Writer: Brent Bentman
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Release Format: RedBox
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 1 hr 21 min
Social Networking: Facebook
On the night before Halloween, a single mother and her daughter are taken captive in a strange home.
The Night Before released on September 19, 2017. Written and directed by Brent Bentman, the nightmarish Horror film follows a woman and her teenage daughter, who’re abducted by a mysterious man and held hostage in his prison-like home.
The Cast Stars
Steven Michael Quezeda – Detective Perez
Rachel G. Whittle – Kristina
Kimi Acosta – Penny
Tom Zembrod – The Mask
The Night Before takes on a dark and depressing mood in every aspect of the film. From the cinematography to the background score. Its like watching someone’s personal nightmare come to life. And, this whole concept can be someone’s personal nightmare.
Rachel G. Whittle portrays a single mother struggling with a pending divorce with her husband, Michael, portrayed by Eric Hanson. While Kristina (Whittle) and her teenage daughter, Penny (Acosta), are wrapping up trick-or-treating for the evening, they come to a strange-looking house. Not strange at first sight. It’s surrounded by Halloween decorations for the holiday. When they ring the doorbell, no one answers.
This gives Penny a bad hunch that something is wrong and that they should just leave. However, Kristina refuses to leave without collecting Halloween candy. This begins their nightmare.
Tom Zembrod portrays The Mask. A mysterious man wearing a gas mask. You can tell he has physical, mental, and health conditions he is struggling with. I’ve also wondered if he wears the mask, not only to keep from being seen but also as an inhaler of some sort. His breathing is long and slow sometimes and rapid in others. Not to mention he is almost inseparable to the mask as he wears it more often than not.
Steven Michael Quezeda portrays Detective Perez, who’s assigned to this startling case. He informs residents that the suspect (The Mask) has endured a rough childhood complete with physical abuse and torment. These times shaped him into the man he is today. Detective Perez has gained a personal attachment towards The Mask and the case overall. His character compared to Donald Pleasence‘s Loomis in John Carpenter‘s Halloween.
Ever since I first watched George Mihalka‘s My Bloody Valentine (1981), I have developed an infatuation to creepy-looking masks in Horror films. The gas mask and the animal masks. Other movies to gain these masks are Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next and Glenn Douglas Packard‘s Pitchfork. The pig mask used on promotional covers of Michael and Peter Spierig’s Jigsaw.
These masks introduce a new level of creep factor and fear into movies. It feeds that appetite for the uncertainty. Referencing beginning of The Night Before, a young woman is walking when she’s approached by a car. Inside the car is The Mask who sits there and stares her down before getting out of the car and motioning for her to get in the car. This moment of uncertainty is a chilling feeling.
A lot of questions run through your mind aside from the obvious. In this situation, where the stranger is giving you option which one do you choose? To get in the car as he instructs? Or to brush him off as a creep and ignore him? The latter option would sound logical. Until you realize just what kind of creep you are dealing with. In this specific scenario, logic is not an option, and the first option is the logical option.
The Mask is one of those psychos where you must listen, do what’s asked of you, and abide by the rules if you want your journey of torment and suffering to be smooth and easy. This makes little to no sense upon first thought, but when you consider all the different criminals and serial killers in history – not just in cinema, but in real life – you grasp the characteristics, demeanor, and mentalities of those different types.
There are criminals whose purpose is to torture and kill to satisfy an addiction. There are criminals whose purpose is on a much deeper level and every action is calculated.
The Mask, although hardhearted, also appears to have a warm heart. Some serial killers powered with a passion, and that’s seen in this character. He’s wanting and longing for something that has been missing in his life, and he resorts to unconventional ways to get what he wants. When his victims do what’s asked of them with no hesitation or fight, he is seen as a calm and nice person.
When the victims don’t respond to him in how he wants, or defy him, he grows angry and resorts to aggression and violence. This is a periodic interchange of the good guy, bad guy.
Another interesting note is that The Mask not motivated by any sexual appetite or persuasion. His victims are female. However, he never touches them in that way. Considering this, I pondered that he desires the sole attention of a female or a family to where he abducts and imprisons for the sake of the company and attention.
There is a dark and twisted fantasy he entertains with his victims. This confirmed when he makes sweet and thoughtful gestures throughout. “I’m sorry I abducted you, but would you like something to eat?” “I know you think I’m crazy, but will you dance with me?”
The Night Before is like watching a dark and twisted fantasy and a nightmare in one. A fantasy for the killer, but a nightmare for the victims. There’s a lot of things to consider when watching this film, as it starts off as Horror, then gets psychological and deep. Director Brett Bentman has created an engrossing antagonist who is much more than meets the eye.