The movie opens showing a couple having a bath with some of the most non-sexy dialogue ever. It turns out they’re having an affair when they hear a noise downstairs & worry that it’s her husband returning home early.
They go to investigate & wind up dead at the hands of a hooded & masked killer.
We then meet Emily Walton (Noell Coet), a young woman who suffers from psychosomatic blindness. The result of a car accident when she was younger that killed her mother. She seems to blame herself for the car accident & is very resistant to her therapist. She just seems to accept her condition & is trying to adapt to it.
Her father is a worrier though. He has a date but is concerned about leaving Emily alone especially as its Mischief Night. An informal holiday that tends to take place on October 30th, a night dedicated to tricks rather than treats.
Or in this films case…murder.
So Emily convinces her father to go on his date leaving her alone where she is then terrorised by the masked person from the beginning of the film.
The setting & story of Mischief Night is far from original but it takes the old idea & tries to play around with it to mixed results. It’s not a bad film, it’s just nothing special.
Emily isn’t the most sympathetic of characters. Her role is played well by Noell Coet but you just never really connect with her. The loss of the mother is never explored fully seemingly only there as a finale plot point. One that is admittedly pretty good if not a tad confusing.
See, Emily’s mother was texting while driving, that’s what caused the crash. Emily admitted this to her therapist…so why the guilt? She was in the backseat & has no responsibility for this. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. This is seen in flashbacks resulting in her regaining partial sight & able to finally fight back against her attacker. This sequence is the best part of the film with lashings of gore & a certain gleefulness about the whole thing.
Visually, most of the movie takes place inside the house but it’s well shot with some good camera angles that add some tension to events. However, the ‘killer in the background’ while she wanders around blind is overplayed throughout. It’s done so many times that it becomes tiresome & calls into question her senses.
There are a few too many scenes where she fails to hear or even feel movement that is in the same room as her. Her attacker is quiet but earlier we see that she can even sense someone sneaking up on her! Of course the argument can be made that the situation is different but it just doesn’t stack up.
Those hoping for a ‘killer reveal’ will be disappointed. Although it does seem as though it’s going down that route with question marks raised about the location of Emily’s father & boyfriend.
Mischief Night’s biggest problem is that it has very little that really stands out. It might be shot well, have a decent score & acting but it’s a home invasion horror that we’ve seen countless times before.