Film: The Night (15)
- Credit: Vertigo Films
It's never a good idea to get stuck in a haunted hotel, but getting stuck in a sanctimonious, judgemental haunted hotel is the worst.
When their satnav goes mad on the way home from a night out with friends, Iranian American couple Babak and Neda (Hosseini and Noor) and their well-behaved baby (Oganyan) decide to spend the night in a downtown L.A. hotel that has delusions of being The Shining.
Like Minari (reviewed in full next week) this is an American film almost entirely in a foreign language and maybe that has prompted some generosity in the reviews. The haunted hotel movie this resembles is not The Shining but another Stephen King adaptation 1408, where John Cusack checks into a hotel room plagued by an overkill of special effects.
After a moderately creepy set up, Ahari's film piles on generic scares and hammers home the theme that the hotel is punishing the couple for dark deeds in their past - and for what those secrets might be. So much so that the events on screen soon shake themselves free of any tension. 2/5 stars.
Directed by Kourosh Ahari. Starring Shahab Hosseini, Niousha Noor, George Maguire, Michael Graham and Leah Oganyan. Available on Demand from April 2. In Farsi with subtitles. Running time: 105 mins.