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Featured DVD Review: Más negro que la noche

January 26th, 2015

Más negro que la noche (Blacker Than Night) - Buy from Amazon: DVD

Más negro que la noche, a.k.a. Blacker Than Night, is a Mexican horror that is a remake of the 1975 film of the same name. There are almost no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but the film did make nearly $1 million in limited release. That's a lot for a horror film. Will it do better on the home market, as most horror films do? Or did it unduly benefit from the recent success of Hispanic films and the inflated 3D prices?

The Movie

The film begins with a maid running through a mansion and while it looks like she might have gotten away from whoever was chasing her, but she is not that lucky. We then flash forward to the present day and Tia Ofelia, the owner of the mansion. She has a brief conversation with her maid, Evangelia, and her cat, Becker, before going to bed. That night she has a dream that includes some imagery from the prologue with the maid before dying.

Shortly afterward, Tia Ofelia's niece, Greta, inherits the house and all of the rest of Ofelia's possessions, including her cat, as well as Evangelia, who will stay on as maid. Greta used to live with her aunt after her parents and sister died, but moved away a long, long time ago. Greta and her friends, Pilar, Maria, and Vicky travel to the mansion to look at it and sign the legal papers. Evangelia is very happy to see Greta, but is less impressed by Greta's friends, although I can't really blame her. After a tour of the home, complete with flickering lights, the friends get together and are excited about the new home, but some of them are a little worried about Evangelia.

The four ladies decide to move into the mansion, although not everyone is happy about it. Pilar is put in the portrait room and it freaks her out, with good reason. While Maria has a pet ferret, Isidro, and it and Becker don't get along. When Isidro is found dead, not just dead but horror levels of dead, Maria blames Becker. The next day, when Greta and her friends throw a housewarming party, Becker is found dead in the pool. That's when all hell breaks loose. ... not really.

Más negro que la noche is a typical haunted house movie built upon layer and layer of clichés. There are some elements I liked, including some of the acting from Zuria Vega and Erendira Ibarra. I'm not saying the rest of the actors are bad, but most of the rest of the cast are playing characters that are not fully fleshed out. For instance, Margarita Sanz plays Evangelia and she's not bad, but her character mostly just shows up behind one of the four ladies scaring them, so she can't show off her acting ability. On a related note, her popping up so often was a problem. If that happened once or twice it would be effective, but it happens enough that it enters the realm of self-parody. Likewise, the film looks good and the mansion is sufficiently spooky, but in a way that looks too much like what filmmakers think a haunted house should look like and not like a real place. It hurts the tension, because it doesn't look like a real lived in place and the lack of tension was the biggest problem. I wasn't drawn into the film and by the time the action really started to build up, I no longer cared. To be fair, it's not really bad, but there are better options out there. Call it, "Solidly average for the genre."

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

I didn't expect Más negro que la noche to be a great movie, but I was hoping it would have real energy and would be entertaining. There are some elements that worked, but not enough to enthusiastically recommend it. Additionally, the DVD has no extras, so it is worth a rental, at most.

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Filed under: Video Review, Más negro que la noche, Zuria Vega, Adriana Louvier, Erendira Ibarra, Ona Casamiquela, Margarita Sanz