Cold Comes the Night ★★

Low Budget Cinema || 2013 Ranked (#53/66)

For a low budget production, Cold Comes the Night is an exceptionally good looking film. The desaturated colors and low lighting match the ominous tone quite effectively, and the bright orange highlights work very nicely to give the film its own personality and style. At key points in the story there are quite lovely camera movements as well, generally involving low angle sweeping shots examining the ongoing chaos. If you need a reason to see this movie beyond "more Bryan Cranston", this should be it. The seeds of a great cinematographer are here.

The three central performances from Alice Eve, Bryan Cranston and Logan Marshall-Green (Discount Tom Hardy) all oscillate from serviceable to impressive, but the problem is that they're weighed back by a dead script. The dialogue isn't always bad, but it's rarely good. When I read that Cranston brought his Slavic accent to the role (ie. that it wasn't planned from the beginning) I just pictured him reading through the dialogue and thinking, "No native English speaker talks like this." And maybe it's because of this dialogue, but the story never came to life or carried any real emotional weight.

I think there are definitely reasons to watch this movie. Its tone is very consistent and the story does have its strengths, but for me those didn't quite make up for its more glaring weaknesses. But that Noah Rosenthal, I'm keeping my eye out for him.

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