Facebook Twitter

SURVIVE THE NIGHT: 1 STAR. “you won’t root for anyone, good or bad.”

The idea of stalling for time in a bad situation makes perfect sense in real life. In “Survive the Night,” a new home invasion film now on VOD, a disgraced doctor tries to buy time to protect his family as some very bad men hold them hostage. Trouble is, it’s a movie, and his stalling techniques bring the action in this plodding thriller to a dead stop.

“One Tree Hill” star Chad Michael Murray is Rich, a doctor whose once-promising career was cut short by a malpractice suit. “I cut when I should have stitched or stitched when I should have cut,” he says. “I don’t even know!” Disgraced, he now lives on a remote farm with his parents, (Bruce Willis and Jessica Abrams), his wife (Lydia Hull) and their teenage daughter (Riley Wolfe Rach) and works at a small clinic, patching up injured farmers.

It’s there that Jamie (Shea Buckner), a low-level crook with impulse control, first sees the doc and hatches the plan to invade Rich’s home and get some much-needed medical treatment for his brother Mathias (Tyler Jon Olson). If Rich doesn’t operate, Jamie promises to fill the family with lead. Rich fears that if he operates and Matthias dies, chaos will ensue.

Cue the stall tactics.

The suspense free plot of “Survive the Night”—which should really have been titled “Survive the Night and Most of the Next Morning”—relies on characters doing unrealistic and just plain stupid things in almost every scene. If you took a drink every time Rich did something that only made his situation worse, you’d be hammered by the second act. Or, if you’re not a drinker, take a sip every time Bruce Willis looks like he’s happy to be part of this movie. You’ll be stone cold sober as the end credits run.

“Survive the Night” is the rare “thriller” where you don’t root for anyone, the heroes or villains. Even a car chase goes nowhere… literally and figuratively. It’s like a thriller made by people who have never actually seen a thriller and who based this one on stuff their friends told them about “Panic Room” and “Funny Games.”

Comments are closed.