A furious and passionate look at cults, misogyny, and the cult of misogyny, At Night Comes Wolvesis actually three short films by writer and director Tj Marine strung together with a loosely woven narrative. Marine himself has commented that viewers should try to pick apart the feature and find the three shorts, and has also shared that he believes At Night Comes Wolves is a better representation of him as a director than a writer – highlighting his ability to make something beautiful from something fractured. While the narrative wanders and meanders, the core message is one I think we are seeing more of lately, especially with films like Promising Young Woman hitting the screen. Misogyny and sexism are being outed in new and better ways. In a refreshing twist, this film doesn’t vilify all men–just the men who deserve it. And there’s a horror spin to boot.
Leah Shaffer (Gabi Alves) is trying to please her impossible-to-please husband, doing her best to make his birthday something special. She does everything she can think of for Daniel’s (Jacob Allen Weldy) special day, including the candlelit dinner and classic sexy outfit. But no matter what she does, tries, or experiments with (much to her shame and embarrassment), he’s just never happy. She is never good enough for him.
When his misogynistic, sexist pokes and jabs simply go too far, Leah decides to take matters into her own hands. On the run from Daniel, she runs into a drifter, Mary May (Sarah Serio), and both women remark on their immediate kinship and connection. When Mary May introduces a forlorn Leah to her partner, Davey (Vladimir Noel), a budding chemist and pseudo-scientist, they realize their connection is more than a gut feeling – and can all be traced back to Daniel. Loose ends have to be tied up for the trio to finally have peace and vindication. Fate takes a key role in At Night Comes Wolves movie, and synchronicity and destiny are touched on generously. There’s something important, too, to be said about the spotlight placed on gaslighting and emotional manipulation. Yes, it’s abundantly clear that Leah is being manipulated by her abusive and narcissistic husband. But it isn’t quite as clear how much of this supposed kinship and connection she feels to Mary May and Davey is just them playing tricks on her or her mind playing tricks on itself. There’s a lot to unpack, and thankfully, at least to this critic, it’s never fully unpacked. Just enough is left open and unanswered. At Night Comes Wolves will be released on VOD via Gravitas Ventures on April 20, 2021.
Makeup Artist, Monster Maker, Educator, Producer, Haunt-lover, and all around Halloween freak. When Miranda isn't watching horror films, she's making them happen. When she's not doing either of those things, she's probably dreaming about them. Or baking cookies.