“Take Back the Night” made “Don’t look up” seems subtle in its message.
The second used a meteor that crashed to Earth as a precaution against the threat that climate change poses to the planet. “Take Back the Night” does something similar for sexual assault.
However, the micro-budget “Night” often made Adam McKay clumsy against scientific “denial” despite the huge star power disparity. We’re even treated to a memorable monster, showing how creativity can transcend finite resources.
However, every time a story captures a breath, it delivers its message directly to our faces.
Emma Fitzgerald plays Jane, an artist celebrating a sold-out gallery launch. She drank too much, had casual sex, and returned home alone in the urban setting.
She was struck by something sinister and ink-colored, a smoky presence that left her both physically and mentally. Jane immediately filed an assault report but soon realized the limitations of modern law enforcement.
The attack was still a blur to her, but eventually she remembered enough to realize it wasn’t a man who had attacked her but something inexplicable.
Her fight for justice is even tougher.
“Take Back the Night” uses the monster as a prop for sexual predators, and it’s a smart approach. It allows director/co-writer Gia Elliot to portray the fears women face in the wake of such attacks, and how terrifying it would be to get lost in a deeply imperfect justice system. how.
That is personified by “The Detective” (Jennifer Lafleur), tasked with finding Jane’s attacker, but there are limits to how much she can help someone like Jane.
It was, without a doubt, a clever selection move, to make the main detective a woman, but the character wasn’t always right. Performances can be uneven here, with the reliance on hand-held camera work adding to the film’s independent origins.
Fitzgerald kept the story together, not wanting the system to treat her like another victim. The actress also doesn’t shy away from Jane’s flaws, preventing any Mary Sue’s Criticism. She’s impulsive and blunt, impatient with both the detective and her sister (impressive Angela Gulner), who lives a much more normal life.
The monster itself, and the insects buzzing around with its every move, is worthy of a movie four times the budget of “Night’s”. It is fearsome and prolific, though never as terrifying as a real predator.
“Take Back the Night” has faltered more than once, so it is eager to draw the male monster-predator connection when such efforts are unnecessary. The film’s final moments also hint at themes of empowerment where the story doesn’t fully develop.
Genre filmmaking allows exploring some of the most unsettling topics in exciting new ways. At its best, “Take Back the Night” proves it once again.
Hit or miss: “Take Back the Night” should have returned to its public message, as the film’s haunting moments speak volumes.