Movie Review – Mischief Night (2014)

Mischief Night
Directed by Travis Baker
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: May 20, 2014

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I thought I had seen every babysitter-versus-slasher-flick-idea ever imagined…but boy, was I wrong! Just when I think I have a genre solidified, an inventive filmmaker comes along and completely changes the game. Such is the case with MISCHIEF NIGHT. Director Travis Baker (no relation) turns the babysitter-versus-slasher concept upside down with this slick fright-fest, and the result is a terrifying trek into the bizarre!

If you are not familiar with MISCHIEF NIGHT, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

On the night before Halloween, young Kaylie is at work babysitting when she’s warned by a local night watchman not to answer the door, because nothing good can happen on “Mischief Night.” Soon, Kaylie realizes someone is stalking her. But on “Mischief Night,” nothing is as it seems. They say “Danger is on the other side of the door.” But they never said which side of the door you’re on.

Don’t confuse this After Dark Original film with the 2013 movie of the same title. The two are very different and have nothing to do with one another. But be sure to check this one out, as it is a very original take on an existing horror sub-genre.

MISCHIEF NIGHT starts out like any other film in this category, with the proverbial babysitter home alone with her charge while the parents are away. When strange things begin to happen, she reacts as every sitter does: locking the doors and windows while arming herself. But this is where the similarities end; the audience quickly realizes this girl is not like others before her…not by a long shot.

The film is made well and looks good onscreen. The production value seems high, and there’s really not a specific area where anything is lacking. The film overall is solid and moves at a nice pace.

The cast in MISCHIEF NIGHT do a great job with their roles, which is one of the reasons this movie succeeds. I always enjoy seeing Malcolm McDowell onscreen, and this film is no exception. To be honest, he’s not in the film that much, but enough so to give him due credit. And I have to commend Brooke Ann Smith with her portrayal of the main character, Kaylie. I have not seen Smith’s work before, but she plays this multilayered character with ease. I enjoyed her performance and look forward to seeing more of what she can do.

The special effects are pretty good as well, and there’s even a nice bit of gore (albeit a small dose). I would have preferred more carnage from a slasher flick, but what we get to see is nice. I particularly like the teenage prick that gets disemboweled. He definitely gets what he deserves, and the effects do the scene justice.

The story of MISCHIEF NIGHT is what really wins here, though. I love how this film takes the traditional babysitter slasher and completely changes it up. I didn’t see this twist coming, and it makes for an entertaining thrill ride throughout the film.

MISCHIEF NIGHT is a big win for me, and I recommend giving it a look. The film is available now in a variety of formats.

MSB

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