Welcome To The Blumhouse: Black As Night review Being slightly bolder could've done this film many favours

October 1, 2021
Kira Comerford 0
Amazon Prime, Film Reviews
2.5

Summary

There’s a lot about Black As Night that was on the right tracks, but it’s another of those horror films that feels like a shot in the dark that studios took and just kind of hoped for the best. It’s not a complete car crash, but it is also far from a great success.

2.5

Summary

There’s a lot about Black As Night that was on the right tracks, but it’s another of those horror films that feels like a shot in the dark that studios took and just kind of hoped for the best. It’s not a complete car crash, but it is also far from a great success.

This review of the Amazon Prime film Welcome to the Blumhouse: Black As Night does not contain spoilers. 

Shawna (Asjha Cooper) is settling in for summer break in her hometown of New Orleans, where she accidentally discovers an epidemic of vampires when she’s walking home from a party one night. She wages war against each and every succubus in the land after her mother falls victim to them and it becomes apparent that they are preying on the area’s most vulnerable residents.

I’ll be honest, a coming-of-age vampire-slayer film set in New Orleans had quite an appeal to me. It sounded like something that would be a little different; perhaps making the most of its cultural heritage to produce one of the more creative vampire horrors of recent times. Whilst Black As Night did take some relatively recent local history and weave it into the story in the shape of a teenage girl who had grown up in the area solely in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, it also borrowed so much from so many other sources that it never truly felt like its own thing. 

For example, our main protagonists took all of their knowledge on killing vampires from popular novels that have featured them over the years, as well as some films too (I definitely picked up on a What We Do In The Shadows reference, but I can’t confirm whether that particular rule was exclusive to that title). However, there were other nods to other materials that didn’t necessarily feature vampires at all, the biggest being the Candyman-esque theme that comes to light later on in the film. I just think there comes a point where these nods are more than just nods, and it was like it used them as a crutch to prop itself up.

This, combined with an overall lack of polish, suggested to me that for many involved in the project, Black As Night was a film that has come along at the early stages of many of its participant’s careers. Some of the dialogue was a little stilted and unnatural, and given the first-person narrator element, it was sometimes hard to tell when that particular device was kicking in as a result. There’s also the issue of some of the action sequences being chopped together a little too quickly, which made it hard to see exactly what was going on, as well as the fact that eventually, the film was wandering in circles a bit in terms of the narrative repeating itself over and over again.

That being said, there was quite a bit that did work for me here. I thought the coming-of-age element was a nice touch, and the adolescent awkwardness was something that was captured painfully well. I was also a big fan of the art style used in the opening credits, and also as part of a scene in the latter half of the film. It was really unique and made a great contribution to the narrative, which I think was even more effective because it wasn’t overused at all.

All in all, whilst there’s no fear of the earth being shattered by Black As Night, it isn’t a total affront to man and vampire-kind either. It just needed a little more confidence to step out on its own rather than relying so heavily on previous works, and the ability to keep a closer eye on the finer details.

You can stream Welcome to the Blumhouse: Black as Night exclusively on Amazon Prime.

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