The Fall of Night


A rock musician on the lam from bad bikers gets waylaid in the desert, shanghaied by a craggy prophet and his nubile disciple in this Cannes Market offering. A generic off-road chase movie, coated over with "higher-power" mumbo-jumbo, "The Fall of Night" is sporadically entrancing. Unfortunately, its blend of mysticism and mystery never congeals in a suspense or philosophical model. Commercial prospects seem limited to DVD rental, likely most profitable in rural, Bible-Belt areas where its setting and religioso-ramblings may connect with potential viewers

Filmmaker Derrick Warfel has a keen appreciation for sci-fi horror traditions, but he's taped them into a hodge-podge of mushy narration. "The Fall of Night" is heaped with eerie elements, including some apt creepy desert crawlers, but Warfel's narrative is limp and never bends into a "Twilight Zone" twist, where the irreal and everyday can converge into a weird and frightening new reality. Worse, his scenario inflates and wheezes with hazy philosophical folderol.

Ultimately, "The Fall of Night" descends into dark tedium, indicative of the filmmaker's unsure story grasp. Ghostly passages, including some deft low-budget special effects, stir our interest but don't compensate for the lax scripting. Similarly, the solid cast - Persia White, Bruce Michael Hall, Tony Longo - manages to stoke our interest but can't overcome the film's much-less-than Serling inventiveness.
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