Take the Night (2022)
Content by Tony Macklin. Originally published on August 9, 2022 @ tonymacklin.net.
Take the Night is more polished than the average indie.
But it could be subtitled ""Running Through Darkness."
It's an opaque and convoluted thriller.
It's the debut feature by filmmaker Seth McTigue, who is writer, director, producer, and actor.
Take the Night is the story of a birthday prank that goes awry. William (Roy Huang) plans a fake kidnapping of his younger brother Robert (Sam Song Li) on his 25th birthday. Robert is CEO of an import company that his father left to him rather than to the older brother.
Leading the four kidnappers is Chad (Seth McTigue), a war veteran who may be suffering from PTSD. He won't visit the grave of his father. The younger brother Todd (Brennan Keel Cook) does visit their father's grave.
Chad is joined in the ploy by Todd and two African-Americans - Shannon (Shomari Love) and Justin (Antonio Aaron).
The kidnapping leads to chaos.
The screenplay probably could use another draft to sharpen the themes.
One of the important themes is dualities, with pairs throughout.
Robert and William are brothers, as are Chad and Todd. Both have history. The two black kidnappers are another pair, as are the late fathers whose past actions still affect their sons. Psychological dimensions abound.
The acting is serviceable. But Grace Serrano - Robert's secretary - is too bland for her role. At times she seems to be acting. She could use a doppelganger.
The music proves that music does not make suspense.
Still, Take the Night does have its positive values.
Sean McTigue likes to focus on a mysterious bag in the film.
His film is a mixed bag.