November 8, 2018 All Light Will End (Movie Review)
What do you do when the nightmares follow no matter where you go? Such is the premise behind the brand-new Horror-Thriller All Light Will End, which arrived to DVD/Blu-ray on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, thanks to Gravitas Ventures.
Best-selling Author Savannah Martin (Ashley Pereira: Nashville series, Masterpiece short 2016) was inspired by her childhood to author a book that even Stephen King himself has deemed one spooky read. Alas, these award-winning night terrors have followed her into her adult life, and she is forced to frequently meet with a psychiatrist (John Schuck: MASH 1970, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country 1991) to discuss the shadows that lurk in and out of her dreams. Haunted by the suicide of Dianna (Sarah Butler: I Spit On Your Grave 2010, Before the Sun Explodes 2016), her mother, Savannah needs the closure of knowing why her beloved mother chose to end her own life – a tidbit of information that no amount of therapy will ever reveal.
When Savannah receives an invitation from her estranged father (Andy Buckley: The Heat 2013, Jurassic World 2015), the local police chief, to attend her brother’s graduation, she reluctantly agrees to return to the small-town of Natchez. Along for the ride are her boyfriend Jack (Ted Welch: The Help 2011, True Blood series) and his friends Paul (Graham Outerbridge: The Britishes series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series) and Faith (Alexandra Harris: The Veil 2017, Hellraiser: Judgment 2018), all of whom are looking forward to spending some time at the Martin family’s cabin in the woods.
Coincidentally, all is not exactly quiet in Natchez. The chief and his two deputies – Stache (Aaron Munoz: The Walking Dead series, Stranger Things series) and Adam (Sam Jones III: Krews 2010, Smallville series) – are currently investigating a series of decapitations across town, with random body parts turning up in random locales. These crimes seem to mirror those of two decades earlier, leaving the chief to wonder at any potential connections.
With the circle of blood narrowing down to the family cabin and its current inhabitants, both the local police and the out-of-towners will soon realize that some nightmares can walk in the light. Clocking in at 84 minutes in-length, All Light Will End is a feature-length debut for Director Chris Blake (Something Evil This Way Comes short 2014, Pomelo short 2016) and was written by Blake with Jason Hill (Goodbye July short 2014, Masterpiece short 2016). It also features Michael James Thomas (Enuattii 2017, House of Cards series) as Leeland and Briana Tedesco (Picture Day short 2018, Les Demoiselles short 2019) as Young Savannah.
All Light Will End fits perfectly into the Horror-Thriller genre, a solid offering that explores the idea of a family secret that leads to inner-demons becoming outer-demons. It’s not exactly the most original film offering, and it certainly has some flubs along the way, but it provides several solid jump-scares and a plot that is engaging enough to at least keep viewers interested. The gore factor here is nothing extreme and the close-ups are hardly horrifying or truly grotesque, but what All Light Will End lacks in splash factor it makes up for in tension. So, while it’s not scary or even creepy, this is a movie offering that builds an engaging tension with its solid script.
Pereira anchors the entire production and is given the best material with her portrayal of the well-rounded Savannah. While initially a sympathetic character, she moves from haunted young woman to sadistic novelist with the slash of a, well, you have to see it. Pereira’s on-screen intensity and her commitment to her role keep the film from ever dipping into truly cheesy, B-grade territory which is a compliment to her acting skills. Her cohorts Welch (Jack) and Outerbridge (Paul) are largely cannon fodder, though Harris (Faith) is given a bit to work with and sadly flounders her ‘big’ moment. When she should be hysterical over a beheaded body, she offers an entirely unmoving, dry-eyed performance that leaves quite a lot to be desired. Similarly, upon discovering that same body, Thomas (Leeland) makes a retching noise that is quite laughable.
Though their parts are largely superfluous to any of the action, it should be noted that Munoz and Jones III make a great comedic duo and the facial expressions and antics that the pair share add a light touch to an overall dark production. They’re given very little to work with, but the pair do themselves proud with the material that they do deliver.
All Light Will End certainly does a lot of things right to build a solid tension that engages its viewers and, ultimately, provides a plot twist that is intriguing enough to keep your buns glued to your seat until the very end. Considering this is a feature-length debut for Writer/Director Blake, it shows great promise for Blake’s talents behind-the-camera while providing an enjoyable ride for viewers. Just remember: we all go a little mad sometimes! For these reasons, CrypticRock gives All Light Will End 3.5 of 5 stars.