In the short film That Night (2019), a young married couple attend an engagement party as a respite from their troubled home life. As the night progresses, however, they struggle to maintain both their relationship and their lives as the dangers behind the party hosts’ friendly facade unravel.
That Night glitters with menacing tension, a captivating main cast, and an engaging plot. The atmosphere is tantalizingly dark and nightmarish, with an ominous tone that continues to increase throughout the film. Jennifer Nangle carries the film with her engrossing performance as Rachel, highlighting the complexity and emotion of the movie through her deeply expressive eyes, voice, and physicality. Garrett Lee’s performance as Josh perfectly complements Nangle’s performance as Rachel, allowing a sense of both frustration and love in every scene. The storyline, while brief, is both simple and creative, with an impressive attention to small details—which allow several scenes to be near-breathtaking in their execution.
Although That Night has a multitude of strengths, there are a couple of notable weaknesses. One is that one of the initial scenes moves a bit too slowly in comparison with the other scenes, which is particularly noticeable due to the short length of the film. While the scene is significant, it feels too indulgent in its lingering pauses and single setting. The plot, while involving, needs a more filled-out structure in order to bring a greater sense of satisfaction to its concept—of course, this extension may play out in a feature-length film, if this is the intention of the film’s creators.
Overall, That Night is a noteworthy short horror film that has abundant potential for an expanded future.