One Night of Fear, Hacks Away with Typical Slasher Concepts
Director: Brian Troxell
Writers: Brian Troxell, Johnna Troxell
Release Date: November 30, 2016
Release Format: Streaming
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Adventure, Horror, Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour, 18 Minutes
When Rob takes his friends and girlfriend on a hiking trip to the Ocala National Forest he gets more than he bargained for when suddenly they are trapped in a deadly fight for survival from a deranged killer who seems to be one step ahead of them all the time. after one of their friends is brutally killed they run and find shelter in an abandoned cabin and must fight the madman as well as each other as they fight to stay alive.
The film is loosely based on a serious of real life mysterious murders that have taken place in the Ocala National Forest over the years where campers,hikers have disappeared without a trace.
One Night of Fear has released on November 30, 2016. It is available on Amazon Instant Video. The cast stars;
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Katie (portrayed by Jessica Sonneborn) and Rob (portrayed by Jimmy Dempster) are out enjoying a nature walk and some quality time when they get interrupted by their friend, Jacklyn (portrayed by Suzi Lorraine), who frantically runs from a machete-wielding maniac. They all flee to safety and become hostages in an empty model vacation home. When a park ranger, Elmer (portrayed by Russ Forga) notices them in the home, he barges in on them and becomes a target for the mad man also. They must come together to think and attempt to outsmart and defeat the killer.
One Night of Fear uses traditional up-close and personal camera angles. The cinematography of the flashback scene has the vibe it’s being filmed as a Found Footage. This is a neat twist to specific nature and tone of the film.
The costume selections are simple. There is not much thought needed here. However, the costume of the antagonist could have been a little more intimidating. One Night of Fear has decent special effects and the mediocre acting is balanced out with impressive violence and kill scenes.
The score is a great addition to the film with the introduction and ending selections having upbeat songs. Interwoven throughout the film are creepy, dramatic theatrical sounds that give the film an intensified experience.
The performances are mediocre. Starting with the antagonist, although intimidating, is not effective enough to make a lasting impact.
One Night of Fear has no relevance to Friday the 13th, but I felt like the antagonist mimicked Jason Voorhees. His whole demeanor; big and creepy. He doesn’t talk. He shows up when you least expect it and makes his kill. His weapon of choice is a machete, which is Jason’s weapon. So, there is quite a deal of resemblance to an established Horror slasher icon.
Katie, Rob, and Jacklyn make some, awful choices in the movie. Bad choices are staples to slashers but these are beyond bad. Jacklyn’s actions were annoying as the anti-socialite that wanted to do things on her own terms. Katie and Rob are two “kids” in love that were just overkilling on the lovey-dovey. The only role with half a brain is Elmer, the park ranger.
One Night of Fear takes inspiration from true events that occurred in the Ocala National Forest in 1966. The film flows in fiction and geared for entertainment. I question how much of the film takes from the story. As you will read when you research it, the case is still a complete mystery. What happened to the victims? Its assumed they got abducted and murdered. However, the source doesn’t state who, or what even, abducted them. An abduction is more than likely the case here, but with it being a cold case is still under investigation. The mind can create all kinds of crazy scenarios.
The scariest thing in this movie, in my opinion, is the creepy, dramatic theatrical sounds. There are a few jump scares in the film, but overall, there is not a big scare factor here. The film is predictable in some scenes. Also, with the synopsis giving away that the antagonist is smart, was an indicator he would outplay his victims at their strategy every time. The ending threw a big curve ball. It was a relief, but, a little odd. The way it plays out, the victims could have defeated the killer early on. This would have minimized most of the struggle.
One Night of Fear has a great story. Although it is in the line with most slasher films out today, the back story that inspires the film is intriguing. Films based on true events will always hold innovation, and when executed correctly, the result is a success. Brian Troxell’s film has a few areas that need improving.
4. In Conclusion
The Ocala National Forest has skeletons, literally. In 1966, two young women – Pamela Nater and Nancy Leichner – ages 20 and 21, went missing. Originally from Pinellas County, they went for a visit to Alexander Springs with friends. They deterred from the group to go for a hike alone and were never seen again. No one knows what happened. There were no signs of a struggle and no clues. The easy conclusion is abduction and murder. Till this day, the case remains an unsolved cold case, but it is still an open case.
To read more about this story, visit the St. Augustine Record.
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