11/3/12

Blood Capsule #23

DEAD OF NIGHT (1999)

Known as Lighthouse on its native soil, this UK-lensed slasher hasn't inveigled a peep of exposure stateside.  I've never met anyone who has seen it.  Hell, I've never met anyone who has heard of it.  The generic title played a part in its cabalistic obscurity, I'm sure, but I'm surprised that it didn't benefit from word-of-mouth.  Dead of Night is actually a sleek, harrowed thriller fraught with pelvis-plunking suspense.  Granted, the storyline is barebones.  A prison ship thumps into the jagged, pebble-ribbed littoral of a remote island.  The guards and the convicts wash ashore, but there is one party missing.  Naturally, the party is a stealthy psychopath who has a weakness for severed heads.

This is a standard "divide and conquer" horror flick, but director Simon Hunter brings the premise to bear fruit.  The atmosphere is off the charts.  Silence is used to great effect, and the stalk sequences are genuinely startling.  Seriously, why hasn't America sniffed this sleeper out?

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