Frightfest Glasgow: Nights End (2022)

Director: Jennifer Reeder

Running Time: 82 Minutes

Certification: 18

Starring: Geno Walker, Kate Arrington, Felonius Munk, Michael Shannon, Lawrence Grimm, Daniel Kyri, Theo Germaine, Morgan S. Reesh

After directing the confident and engaging Knives and Skin, Jennifer Reeder takes her feature-length follow-up to a more straightforward place in this ghostly chiller. After moving into a new apartment, anxious shut-in Ken Barber (Geno Walker) spends his days making videos offering various tips. Spooky occurrences leave Ken to realise his apartment is haunted, so he hires a stranger to perform an exorcism.

The more time audiences spend with Ken, the more information is shared regarding the circumstances which left him feeling isolated in his new home. The stressful situation bubbles up within Ken, much like his regularly made soup, offering the potential for something atmospheric within an isolated location. How unfortunate this tension isn't replicated for audiences to feel, as close-up shots of shocked faces isn't an effective substitute for excitement.

The cast do what's required of them in their roles, with Walker shining at conveying his characters inner torment, while Michael Shannon's having a ball in his bizarre turn. Their turns can only go so far as the film takes increasingly preposterous routes, to the point a severed appendage is brushed over as though it's nothing. Credit where it's due, there's a hopeful message in how progress is achievable even in dark times, although one wishes the surrounding material was as impactful.

Nights End played at Frightfest Glasgow, and will be available on Shudder from March 31st