Take Back The Night (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Take Back The Night (2022) Review

Horrorific content by christina on January 18th, 2023 | Movie Review | Female Revenge, Psychological, Madness, Thriller, Mystery, Police, Dangerous Exploration

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It's about the survivor of a monster attack, who is unbelieved by her family, friends, and police officers.

Take Back The Night was directed by Gia Elliot and stars Emma Fitzpatrick (The Summoned, Bloodsucking Bastards, and The Collection), Jennifer Lafleur (They Want Me Gone, The Midnight Swim), and Chelsea Harris.

Take Back The Night (2022) Review

Partnering with writer Emma Fitzpatrick, director Gia Elliot sends a clear message with their film Take Back the Night--this is more than just another monster movie. The title is borrowed from the slogan of marches and movements fighting against violence towards women, signifying the movie's attempt to explore this issue in greater depth.

The challenge is ensuring the message does not overshadow the plot and the film's entertainment value or become too didactic. Many horror films attempt to address social issues but often fail to do so effectively. The Hunting is an example of a movie that was ostensibly about werewolves but was more about veterans and PTSD. Can Take Back the Night succeed where others have failed?

Artist Jane is celebrating the success of her first solo show. After helping a fellow drunk partygoer get home, she gets drunk at the after-party and finds herself locked out. She loses her phone and is forced to take a shortcut through an alley to call home. However, the alley is home to a creature that attacks her, resulting in her injury. She manages to get to a hospital, but even though there is clear evidence that something happened to her, no one believes her.

The film "Take Back the Night" sets up a situation in which two of the most commonly cited reasons for disbelieving or blaming a victim of sexual assault are present - the victim was drinking. She was alone in a potentially dangerous place. Even though the idea of being attacked by an actual monster is likely to be met with skepticism and disbelief by many people, the film still presents this as a legitimate possibility.

The detective investigating the case doesn't believe the woman's story, especially considering her history of minor crime, drug use, and mental health issues. The latter of which might be inherited. Her sister is urging her to seek professional help and change her lifestyle, but she is resistant.

Naming the main character "Jane Doe" and the others simply as "The Sister," "The Bartender," etc., is intended to make the story feel more relatable. However, it also gives the story a more simplistic feel, as if a film student created it. The cast is predominantly female, which is interesting given the disbelief Jane faces from others. Men are not the only ones skeptical of her but also those who should be more supportive.

The aim of Take Back the Night is to raise awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence and to empower individuals to take action against it. The film focuses on the story of Jane, a woman who is attacked by a monster while walking home one night. Fitzpatrick and Elliot point out that just because a woman is not what society would deem "good" or "proper" does not mean she is lying or asking for what happens to her.

Despite having a low budget, Take Back the Night has decent special effects. The creature is CGI but looks better than in many other movies. Although the creature effects in the film are impressive, the digital flies accompanying them are less so. They would have been better off heard off-screen.

Worth Watching? 

In addition to being poorly written and acted, the film's plot has several holes. Despite this, the film can still convey its point and deliver several tense scenes. It blends the horror and more extreme elements well, using one to drive the other. Jane is pushed to the brink of suicide before taking matters into her own hands, leading to an unexpected ending.

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