Broken Night

Broken Night


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Amores Perros and 21 Grams screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga serves up a slice of the sinister in his latest short film.

Mary (Dominnique McElligott) and her young daughter Angelina (Alexis Durabrow) are on a trip through the back roads of America when disaster strikes and their car spins off the road. Waking, trapped upside down in the SUV, Mary discovers that the pair of them are not alone in the dusk...

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This is a quality production all round, with veteran cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln, War Horse) shifting the mood inexorably from the warm glow of daytime to the otherworldly dread of night. It's a gear change underlined by use of the creepy-when-you-think about-it children's song There Was An Old Lady and Philip Glass's music, which insinuates its way into your nerves before shredding them.

Arriaga employs contrast to mount the tension, from the counterpoint of the wide-open countryside and tight confines of Mary's stricken car to the juxtaposition between her increasing hysteria and the calculating silence of the menace that comes her way. There is also good use of skewed perspective, which makes us feel almost as disoriented as she is.

Those who like their humour served dry - and looking to shake of the sense of lasting dread that the Broken Night leaves you with - may want to note that the deer which meets its demise in an early scene is credited as Jane Doe.

You can watch the film on Youtube,

Reviewed on: 05 Feb 2013
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A young woman and her four-year-old daughter find a road trip turns into a nightmare.

Director: Guillermo Arriaga

Writer: Guillermo Arriaga

Starring: Dominique McElligott, Alexis Durabrow, Trenton Kaiser, Robert Homyak

Year: 2013

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: US


Sundance 2013

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