Take the Night (2022) Film Review- Armessa Movie News


With a bleak style reminiscent of Hollywood heist films (at least the good ones), Seth McTigue’s Take the Night gets in your head pretty easily. This is an indie film that looks like no other indie films. It definitely doesn’t sound like others of its universe. But what separates Take the Night abruptly from its subgenre peers, is that it never goes for formulas in its narrative. And we all know heist films follow formulas. It’s why we remember most of them. That “preparations” edit, that final twist, justice served in a poetic manner.

Take the Night drifts away confidently with a wholesome deploy of character arcs that arouse the viewers to submit themselves from an emotional position, rather than just an entertainment vehicle with cool shots, elaborate action scenes, and yes, intelligent plots put together around one compelling story. McTigue insists on scripting the human element and doing whatever he can with a plot story as complex as this. He manages, and riskily completes a circle that isn’t easy to achieve with originality. These are stories we have seen before. 

Perhaps this one we haven’t. Take the Night tells the story of a family divided by an inheritance. An empire is put on the hands of a younger, more reliable brother. The older brother holds grudges with this decision. Now that his brother’s birthday is coming he decides on a present that he will never forget.

That sick decision is throwing a fake kidnapping party. As questionable as this sounds, McTigue convinces us to go through this part of the plot without asking too many questions. The problem is the kidnappers change their plan. Their leaders are also a couple of brothers with a tumultuous past. The night of the execution, things don’t go very well.

It was apparent from the beginning McTigue set out to make things different. Nevertheless, Take the Night is an unexpected piece. Considering its director participates in every way possible in the film, and it’s his first feature film, it becomes a chance to celebrate an accomplished vision. Take the Night is exciting because of how it was made, but McTigue never fully uses his circumstance to let go. He’s in control all the time, and it shows. The story is tight, as well as the execution. Cinematography is pristine. The score is fantastic. From a creative point of view, this is the product of someone we want to see more of. 

Again, Take the Night is a great opportunity to explore some other plot styles in regards to action thrillers. The emotional burden of every single character arc seems relevant and not many films do this, and certainly not in films that run less than 90 minutes. In this one, you care and it’s inevitable. In fact its third act, as rushed as it felt, was defined solidly by a director who doesn’t want to give the audience much time to reflect on the logic of the twist. It’s impressive how confident it felt as a plot move. Thinking about it further, I had some questions. But creative freedom should remain untouched. Great for you Seth! We need more filmmakers willing to bend the rules.

Take the Night makes for a good Friday night selection, even if it’s more of a slow burn film. If you like character-driven stories more than anything (even violence in heist films), then this one’s for you. Sometimes conflicts are more effective as plot elements when they dig deeply in their characters’ motivations and agendas. In Take the Night you won’t be surprised by what happens. It’s even predictable. But how McTigue solves everything is an emotional load reminiscent of great drama, and that’s essential even in genre films.

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Federico Furzan

Founder of Screentology. Member of the OFCS. RT Certified Critic

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– Armessa Movie News