NIGHT: THE FINAL CUT *** USA 2021 Dir. Byron C Miller. 76 mins
Mike (John Hardy) and Jimi (Shawn LeTang) aren’t just partners in the police force, they’re best friends. That is, until a routine bust goes wrong and an innocent bystander catches a bullet in the chest. Amazingly she seems unphased and walks away as if nothing has happened. Having been the only witness to this miracle, Mike becomes obsessed with tracking her down, neglecting both his work and his friend in the process.
The mystery woman turns out to be Tonia (Melanie Ginnett), a vampire who has taken a shine to Mike, who promptly turns him and introduces him to her ‘Family’, a mismatched group of vamps who live together in a run down old building.
Mike’s transition from Detective to creature of the night hasn’t gone unnoticed and he catches the attention of Konatsu (John Park), an ancient vampire and Tonia’s sire, who begins to stalk Mike wherever he goes. To make matters worse Jimi is now doggedly pursuing his former friend, determined to rescue him from what he believes is a cult of vampire wannabes.
With Konatsu pulling the strings, taking advantage of infighting within the family and feeding Jimi insider information, the scene is set for a bloody showdown.
‘The Final Cut’ is a re-edit of the original 2006 film, which incorporates footage from both the original DV footage and footage that was shot for an extended cut. The end result is a film that looks like it’s been shot by two different directors, one fresh out of film school and the other an experienced professional. Some scenes/edits are so jarring that they set your teeth on edge. Others, such as fight sequences and an excellent ‘feeding montage’ are so polished as to be impressive.
The acting of the main characters is solid, but the supporting cast vary greatly and the new ending makes very little sense. All in all, it’s worth a watch if you’re a fang fan, just don’t be expecting ‘Near Dark’.
Review by Daniel Few
Also available as a retro DVD.