Musician Kinky Friedman once said “A happy childhood…is the worst possible preparation for life.” One of the first things one can’t help but noticing in Andres Rovira’s Come, Said the Night (also known as Between the Darkness) is that two of our main characters have experienced a less than traditional childhood.
This bizarre coming of age horror flick follows thirteen year old Sprout Grady, who steadily grows more convinced that a monster is haunting the nearby woods. On a mission to vanquish it, she makes a series of startling discoveries.
Now, I was fairly excited for this movie. Based on the trailer, it looked like viewers were going to get one of two things; a creature feature or a grieving family facing the wrath of a murderous Danielle Harris. Either way would’ve been just fine with me.
However, we get neither of those scenarios. Instead we get an artistic, slow build descent into madness that stars a family that practically oozes a vibe I can only accurately describe as…culty. And I don’t mean culty in a Manson family way, just…well, they just seem a little off.
The real horror there is purely psychological, although the buildup getting to that point is pretty slow. I’m talking a snail’s pace here. The first 45 or so minutes mainly consists of an awkward presentation of Sprout, her sleep paralysis that seems to go hand in hand with visions of her dead sister. We see young Percy being the butt of everyone’s joke. Poor thing. We mostly see a display of Father Roy’s beliefs and unconventional religion as he applies religious rituals whilst grieving his eldest daughter, Magda. All that is tied in with his outdated morals such as “races shouldn’t mix” or “boys and girls shouldn’t play together.” The psychological insulation is just as intriguing as it is eerie.
Thing’s don’t really start to heat up until Roy begins to act (especially) strangely. Like I said, the pace is a little slow for my taste, though it’s almost worth it once this sh*t hits the fan. The beast in the woods looks rather tame in comparison to such unhinged behavior, making it apparent this doting Father is the real one to fear in this complete curveball of a film.
While I really appreciated Lew Temple’s performance as the stolid, silent, strange, heavy-footed Roy, but I have to give my “stand out performance” golden star to Nicole Moorea Sherman as Sprout. Despite being eager to please her Father, Sprout can’t help feeling proud to grow into her more womanly features and manages to find the strength to confront the monster she believes is a threat to her family. It’s a much needed breath of fresh air from…you know…all the crazy. A whole lot of crazy is going on here.
As I’ve let Come, Said the Night marinate with me I’ve come to the conclusion that it is an absolute mad house movie with a twist ending that is worth the seemingly long, head scratching journey. Don’t get me wrong, I doubt this particular movie will become a household name, though I found it to be a pretty enjoyable watch. It is more than worthy of a look or even a spot in your personal movie collection.
Wicked Rating: 6.5/10
Director(s): Andres Rovira
Writer(s): Andres Rovira
Stars: Lew Temple, Nicole Moorea Sherman, Tate Birchmore, Danielle Harris, and Max Page
Release date: Now available on streaming platforms
Run Time: 1hr 36 min