Young Emily Walton, who has suffered from psychosomatic blindness ever since the car accident that took her mother’s life, must summon every instinct at her disposal to protect herself and her loved ones from a mysterious intruder.
Why does the killer always have to torment the pretty, young, and innocent girl? Maybe they should spend more time going after the nasty and mean ones. At least then to some, their actions could possibly be justified. In Mischief Night, the killer has to target a pretty girl who not only lost her mom when she was eight, but the girl’s blind. She’s blind, damnit!! Why can’t the killer just leave her alone? This killer is a real bastard, without question. Mischief Night may just be another slasher about a masked killer tormenting an innocent young girl but this flick has a little bit of fight in it. I went into it with very low expectations and found myself rooting for the heroine while enjoying some truly gruesome effects.
Emily (Noell Coet) is a seemingly normal seventeen year old girl who was put through a truly horrible experience as a young child. She was in a car accident with her mother when she was eight years old. Her mother passed away in the accident and she was left blind. She has been to see specialists but none of them were able to find anything physically wrong with her. It has been speculated that the loss of her eyesight was due to the psychological damage the event had on her. Aside from the loss of her sight, she has adjusted very well. She’s very close with her father David (Daniel Hugh Kelly), has a great boyfriend Jimmy (Ian Bamberg), and doing great in school. David is about to embark on his first date since the loss of his wife and Emily is going to stay home by herself. He’s a bit concerned for her since it’s Mischief Night (a night very similar to Devil’s Night). Things seem to be alright until someone is outside egging the house. She suspects it to be some local kids but it actually ends up being someone (or something) far more dangerous. She quickly finds herself in the fight of her life when a masked assailant infiltrates her home.
Director Richard Schenkman has had an interesting career from the indie comedy The Pompatus of Love to The Asylums Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. Now he has returned with Mischief Night which is a solidly conceived thriller with slasher overtones. The first half of the film sort of feels a bit like a Scream clone then moves more into The Strangers territory. Of course there are things that may cause the audience to role their eyes, but when have the characters in a film like this ever actually made the right moves? They don’t so we just deal with it. It has a slim body count but they never skimp on the gore and there are a couple of really solid death scenes. On top of that, the final product has a really sleek and polished look to it.
Noell Coet is a fantastic young actress who really carries the weight of the film and delivers a memorable performance. We really get the sense she transforms throughout the events of the film. She conveys a tragic sweetness that instantly draws you into her life. Also very endearing is the relationship between Emily and her father David. Veteran actor Daniel Hugh Kelly goes above and beyond to make us believe this relationship between the father and daughter which ends up being the core of the film.
You may end up with a familiar feeling while watching Mischief Night, but it’s done so well you may end up forgetting how the film hits some pretty familiar beats. Aside from the unnecessary opening sequence, it’s a solid thriller with great performances. This is the type of film a quiet night in with a date was made for. Noell Coet will have a long career and her performance alone will set this movie a few paces ahead of the rest. Well worth your time. ****(out of 5)