Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.
18 years. That's how long it's been since I have seen a film that literally had me shaking by the end. Maniacal Night is Shreco Bakari's Reservoir Dogs, the masterpiece that launches a career for decades to come. For longtime Bakari fans, you may know him from the Ominous Project series of films. You may not even know him at all. Once you see Maniacal Night, his name is not one you'll forget and neither is the film. Night is on a whole new level for Shreco and it's something you can't prepare for, whether you're a horror fan or not.
The film focuses on young couple Kimberly Ian and Novak Carter as they take a personal vacation away from the family at Christmastime. We all know how family can be so who can really blame them? What begins as a sweet road trip soon turns to terror and a fight for survival.
I have truly found myself unsure of what to say in this review. Not only do we not know for sure if this is a true story, due to the disclaimer explained before the film even begins, but the way it's filmed is absolutely terrifying. When I interviewed Mr. Bakari, he corrected me when I called it a horror film, insisting this was a terror film. He was right. This is something that most people will only be able to view once. Some people may not even be able to make it all the way through it.
What I loved most about Maniacal Night is that the focus is on the humanity of it all. What makes a psychopath a true psychopath? What would you do to save the love of your life? Shreco proved that you don't need to gross out the audience with excessive blood, guts and gore. All you need is a writer who knows how to get inside the mind of your characters and a good director to execute that vision.
Huge applause to Grae Jordan and Michael J. Schenck as the villains of the film. I would not be surprised for one second if they won awards for their exceptional performances. Same goes for Cicely Jackson who was sensational as Kimberly who was able to reach lovable heights and also tapped into the true fear of the situation she's put into. Grae Jordan makes a terrifying and unsettling entrance and is by far the most unforgettable in the film. Her chemistry with Michael was certainly one for the books. The two played off one another expertly and they were able to improvise on the spot. They were so good, in fact, that you would almost believe this was true found footage and that this was a real act playing right before our eyes. Maybe it was, can we ever be truly sure it isn't?
The score was absolute fire and the single Crucify by Teddy Martin is sure to be an explosive hit. The music gave me full-on goosebumps and was almost a character of its own.
In conclusion, you're not ready for this film. It's unsettling, terrifying, and once the terror starts, it does not stop until the credits roll. I give this film a perfect 4 out of 4.
© 2022 Nathan Jasper