A black fingernailed Satanist is seen reading incantations in The Overnight, which starts with a couple arguing loudly while generic heavy music plays. They flee when something like mud or maybe worse from a clogged sewer pipe begins to ooze from the drain.
As you’re wondering WTF that was all about, we jump to views of New York City and various roadways, with bland pop music as Jessie (Brittany Clark, Apparition), who is, of course, a social media influencer, and her architect partner David (Zebedee Row, Split, Ghost in the Graveyard) go on vacation.
A stop for coffee leads to an encounter with a creepy doll and an even creepier fan at an antique shop (Justin L. Wilson, Another Year Together, Follow Her). Then the odd couple’s car breaks down in a strange manner until they reach a spooky hotel.
Unfortunately, this creepiness doesn’t make it over to the other side of the screen. The stalker scene might have been more frightening if I didn’t know it was a supernatural film and not a slasher. But the thing that struck me as the most strange was how adamant David is in his hatred for social media, yet he’s hooked up with an expert influencer. That isn’t the only time The Overnight fails to make sense, so get used to it.
The Overnight does begin to get a little more interesting once they arrive at the hotel and are greeted by the frightening manager Salim (Rajeev Varma, Impossible Monsters, Vindaloo Empire). Something is certainly going on, as we see Salim meander throughout the building, making minute changes to items and/or leaving objects like a length of rope behind. Thanking Father Betancourt (Richard Millen, Scenes from the Underground, Fort Tilden) for watching Emma (Mathilde Dehaye) while delivering several hypodermics.
Even while The Overnight is attempting to creep the audience out, it’s hard not to notice how similar some of it is. What appears to be a very ornate hotel, a pair of young children who ask our heroes to come and play with them, a writer suffering from writer’s block, you get the picture. The major issue is that neither director Bobby Francavillo (Crazy Train) nor writers Mel Hagopian (Ronal the Barbarian) and Richard Harlost (Shadow of the Gun) are interested in explaining exactly what’s going on.
There appears to be a time loop in which everyone who dies at the hotel repeats their own deaths. Some appear to have been murdered, but whether separately or in a mass killing isn’t clear. However, at least one of them committed suicide. There’s also the guy with an eye needle in his eye who just appeared out of nowhere recently.
It stems from a demon, the hotel owners, and a plot to reclaim some of the people’s souls. But I’m not sure how or why it’s repeating itself. I understand that the ritual we saw at the beginning of The Overnight summoned the demon, but why is time rewinding? Why were everyone else murdered if all it takes to fix things is killing Jessie? What role does this suicide victim play in everything?
The film The Overnight was made in 2017 as The Stay, not to be confused with this film, so it’s the third recent picture I’ve covered that’s been gathering dust on my shelf. It’s a shame they didn’t consider adding voiceover or anything to help make sense of things. Because the hotel they filmed in has beautiful decore and is atmospheric, as well as some simple but effective practical effects. It would never have been a fantastic movie, but it might have served its purpose as a pass-time filler.
The digital and VOD versions of The Overnight are available from Vertical Entertainment. If you’re searching for something comparable, check out CinemaHDV2.
Directed by: Bobby Francavillo, Kevin Rhoades
Written by: Mel Hagopian, Richard Harlost
Starring: Zebedee Row, Rajeev Varma, Brittany Clark, James Lorinz, Justin L. Wilson, Mathilde Dehaye, Richard Millen
Release date: June 3, 2022
Running time: 90 minutes
Country: United States