Night of the Caregiver (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Night of the Caregiver (2023) Review

Horrorific content by christina on September 18th, 2023 | Movie Review | Home Invasion, Survival, Supernatural, Mystery, Haunted House, Isolation, B-Horror

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It's about hospice nurse Juliet who is hired to be caregiver for Lillian, who lives in an isolated house in a remote area. However, someone else is also dwelling in the house causing her and Lillian to be in grave danger…

Night of the Caregiver was directed by Joe Cornet and stars Natalie Denise SperlAnna OrisEric Roberts (The Rideshare Killer, Survivor's Choice, and The Surprise Visit), Joe Cornet, and Eileen Dietz (The AssentItsy Bitsy, and For We Are Many).

Night of the Caregiver Review

"Night of the Caregiver" may sound like the title of a Lifetime movie, perhaps one involving a deranged home health aide. However, it's a recently released supernatural horror film. The movie is produced by Alexander Nevsky and directed by Joe Cornet, two individuals typically associated with Westerns and action films rather than the horror genre. This prompts the question: Can filmmakers with a background in different genres successfully transition into the realm of horror?

The story revolves around Julia Rowe, who takes on a job as an in-home caregiver for an older woman named Lillian Gresham. Lillian lives in a remote location, and despite it being a Friday night, Julia accepts the assignment due to the substantial pay it offers, which exceeds her weekly earnings. This financial incentive raises an initial red flag, hinting that something unusual might be afoot.

The film employs a narrative structure that includes a prologue followed by a scene labeled "13 hours earlier," in which Detective Roman Eckhart from the NYPD, temporarily visiting California during his time, interviews Dr. King, an expert in parapsychology. This structure hints at a mystery and sets the stage for the unfolding supernatural events.

As "Night of the Caregiver" begins, it adheres to typical horror conventions. Lillian appears charming but is evasive when questioned about her need for a home nurse, refusing to have her vitals taken. The isolated setting of her house, flickering lights, and peculiar decor all contribute to an unsettling atmosphere.

Much of the film focuses on the interactions between Julia and Lillian. Julia begins to hear strange noises and has a growing sense of being watched. Meanwhile, the audience is privy to visual cues, such as a clawed hand reaching for her. These elements create a sense of suspense and uncertainty. However, a significant drawback is that the film's pacing could be more active, and the evil presence in the house seems to be in no hurry to escalate its activities beyond eerie creaking doors.

One of the few genuinely effective scares in the film occurs when Julia's phone encounters a supernatural entity, causing it to malfunction and shut down. After this moment, the pace picks up slightly, but it doesn't necessarily equate to an improvement in the film's overall quality. "Night of the Caregiver" struggles to establish a genuine sense of fear or danger, and even the camera work by cinematographer Sam Wilkerson fails to inject tension into the scenes.

As the story unfolds, it becomes evident that the filmmakers need a deeper understanding of the horror genre. While some of the visual effects, such as the demonic hand, are well-executed, others, like the appearance of the entity's head, come across as cheap and unconvincing, particularly the glowing eyes. A later scene involving a demonic attack is represented by nothing more than blood smears, which feels underwhelming and unoriginal.

One notable aspect to appreciate is the film's brevity. Despite claiming a runtime of one hour and seventeen minutes, the narrative concludes at the one-hour mark. Unfortunately, the story drags on for an additional five minutes of redundant material, including a drawn-out expository monologue, pointless padding, and a predictable "scary" shot that offers no surprises. Then, the viewer is subjected to seven minutes of credits. The film's runtime feels needlessly extended, akin to taking a concise concept and stretching it far beyond its capacity.

Worth Watching?

Ultimately, "Night of the Caregiver" falls short of significantly impacting the horror genre. While it manages to build some intrigue and suspense, especially in its initial stages, it ultimately succumbs to formulaic horror tropes. It lacks the genuine scares and creativity needed to stand out. Despite its efforts to create a sense of mystery and dread, the film's pacing issues, uninspired plot twists, and inconsistent visual effects result in a lackluster horror experience. Fans of microbudget horror might find some enjoyment, but overall, "Night of the Caregiver" fails to rise above mediocrity.

Night of the Caregiver Review (2023) Worth Watching? - ALL HORROR Tweet it

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