- Maggie Q, Kat Foster, James Carpinello,
- Written by
- Neil LaBute
- Directed by
- Neil LaBute
- Release Date
- July, 21st, 2023
A new Neil LaBute film always grabs my attention, thanks to his previous works like “In the Company of Men” and “Your Friends and Neighbors.” With such films on his resume, you expect something great or at least good. However, his latest offering, “Fear the Night,” reminds us just how difficult it can be to make a compelling film. Despite featuring the talented Maggie Q as our hopeful hero, something went terribly wrong.
Tess (Maggie Q) is a retired veteran who has experienced multiple tours in the Middle East, resulting in PTSD. While she reluctantly attends her younger sister Rose’s bachelorette party, she is not looking forward to it. Family, especially her younger sister, means more to her than her own desires. The party takes place at their parents’ secluded house in the middle of nowhere, where they can have a good time away from the world but with no cell service. However, this detail becomes significant when Tess, her sisters, and the other five female guests are suddenly attacked for unknown reasons. Thankfully, Tess uses her skills to keep everyone calm and attempts to save them from their mysterious fate.
Neil LaBute, who wrote and directed the film, fails to utilize Maggie Q effectively. Her character lacks depth, and the same can be said for the other characters as well. Their motivations remain unclear, and the lack of character development is not the only issue. LaBute starts the film at the end of the event and then jumps back 24 hours to show how it all unfolded. This storytelling choice, combined with lackluster action scenes and the underutilization of Maggie Q, hampers the film’s momentum. As a result, “Fear the Night” falls short and leaves much to be desired.
I had high hopes for a gripping home invasion movie with Maggie Q delivering some intense action. However, “Fear the Night” fails to provide suspense or fear, and even the action scenes disappoint. While the use of arrows instead of firearms leads to gruesome kills, it’s not enough to salvage the film. It falls far short of its potential and fails to offer anything to overcome its shortcomings. As someone who appreciates a good home invasion film, I must say this one is not very good, and only leaves you rooting for it to end.