Everwinter Night Review

This unconventional production was the result of a different movie being cancelled at the last minute due to unforeseen complications. With a cast and crew two days out from filming on location in New Hampshire, a completely new story was conceived on the fly using the resources available.

Everwinter Night marks the inaugural feature from Dreamscape Productions. Following a successful festival run that included winning Best Feature at the Central Florida Film Festival, the New Hampshire-based production company has opted to self-distribute the film.

Look, making a movie is hard enough. I mean… I imagine. I’ve never made a real movie. I’ve shot some stuff and put it together, but it was all low-rent efforts either for a class project or for a contest to put together a sub-ten minute movie. But to make a movie–a real movie–that has to be difficult! There are so many professionals involved in making a vision come to life!

Now imagine trying to make a movie, start to finish and that includes the plot and writing, in a rushed environment without any preparation time? That seems like an exercise in losing one’s mind!

Such was the backstory to the flick we are reviewing today, Everwinter Night. As noted above, the entire effort was put together in a rush so as to not totally waste the time and energy of all the talent involved as they had arrived to film another movie that was abruptly cancelled.

Everwinter Night tells the tale of V and Maddie, two lifelong best friends who set out to go on a vacation trip together. Maddie invites two of her newer friends along, though, and they upend all of the more uptight V’s plans.

While stopping at a diner to prepare for the outing, they meet a pair of handsome (eh, that’s what the film tells us, but that’s subjective for at least one of them) rich boys who are hosting a party at a nearby lodge. They invite the four young women to skip out on their confirmed plans and party with them.

The four girls make their way to the lodge and engage in the festivities, but it’s not long before V starts suspecting there is more than meets the eye to this gathering…

TWO UPS AND TWO DOWNS

+Admittedly, when I first saw the runtime (105 minutes), I was a little put off by it. An indie horror effort simply does not need to be that long, especially a movie essentially made on the fly. You would think they would be happy to get a seventy minute outing off the ground!

But that was just in theory. In practice, Everwinter Night does an excellent job of slow-burning its way through the first two acts, setting up the characters, and building the mystery and intrigue of the lodge. When I thought I might be the most bored, I was actually entirely engaged in the set-up of everything.

So overall, the pacing is pretty exemplary here.

+Victoria Mirrer stars as the lead in this one, V a.k.a. Dizzy, and she does a heck of a job. The rest of the acting around her is a bit hit-or-miss from her costars, but Victoria shines pretty brightly. She starts the movie off as kind of petulant and whiny, but through Mirrer’s performance, as the story moves on, she becomes more sympathetic and relatable. That would be hard to do for a lesser actress after how the movie writes her in the opening act.

-The climax of Everwinter Night gets… rough. Without spoiling too much, the whole story gets a little crazy and wild, but it also never goes full zany, either. It just hits this weird phase where it feels a little like a betrayal of what all we’ve seen to that point, but it doesn’t become a whacky ride of insanity, either. It finds the unhappiest medium between sensible and nutso and settles in there.

The editing gets incredibly choppy in the climax, as well, as we are kept from ever fully seeing something that is going on, so we get shaky-cam footage and a hundred cuts, and it all becomes incredibly frustrating to watch.

So while the first two acts of the film are a surprising treat, ultimately the climax is a really big letdown.

-For a movie billed as a Horror-Comedy, there is very little comedy to be found here. Not everything listed as a “Comedy” needs to be “ha-ha” funny, but there’s little comedic to be found here at all (except in how these characters put up with way more suspicious goings-on than any normal human being actually would).

There are MAYBE one or two moments I found lightly humorous. But really, you could advertise this as straight horror, and I wouldn’t think that was unusual at all. They got me all set up for some comedy that never materialized.

OVERALL

For a movie created on the go and having been entirely unplanned, Everwinter Night is almost exceptional. The story is strong and interesting, and the characters–though they make ridiculous decisions–feel real enough. Also, everything looks great. The camera quality and the direction are all high quality. This could have been a secret gem… if not for the third act where everything falls off a fair bit. Still, it’s worth a look if you get a chance to see it just for the novelty of how well it was made pretty much out of nowhere.

★★★ out of 5

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