If you’re looking for that crime thriller to play in the middle of the night, Cold Comes The Night is a good choice. I was always fascinated by stories with ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations only to find out that they are not ordinary and never were. This pulling of the veil on the official system of values that has been drilled into our reality that things are all neat and tidy. That everyone gets what they deserve, work hard and everything will be fine. That crime and evil is something that happens to bad people and that most people are smart, kind-hearted and all the other bullshit they’ve been feeding us for decades. Sorry, I just watched the documentary The Keepers and I’m still fuming about it.
Judging by this intro you would think that Cold Comes The Night is a masterpiece. Sadly, that’s not the truth. This is a flawed thriller that has trouble establishing the proper atmosphere and engaging the viewer. I know they were going for that neo-noir atmosphere, something that I enjoy very much.
And sometimes they made it, however most of the time you feel that there are no stakes and that the characters really don’t care about what’s going to happen next. On the positive side, the writing was great with a lot of great twists and character development. This is the thing that will keep you going ’till the end. There are several high-impact scenes that I really liked and that increased the tension significantly strewn throughout the movie.
Chloe is a single mother trying to raise her daughter in a small town in the middle of nowhere all the while working brutal hours as a motel manager. A motel is a seedy place used for drug deals and prostitution and Chloe is well aware of this. Even more so when a social worker warns her that she has just two weeks to move her daughter away from that environment or she will be taken away from her. Around the same time, two suspicious-looking guys with thick Russian accents decide to spend a night at the motel. They have been driving from 22 hours straight on their way to Canada. This single decision will change lives of many in this small-town community. Including Chloe’s and her daughter’s.
Starring Bryan Cranston fresh off the set of Breaking Bad, gorgeous Alice Eve and Tom Hardy lookalike Logan Marshall-Green, Cold Comes The Night has a pretty strong cast. I feel that Cranston too underplayed his character who I feel should be a bit more emotional and complicated. Again, I know what they were going for, but still, at least give him a twitch, lucky charm, anything to make him feel like a live character and not just body going through the motions. And that accent didn’t help at all.
Eve and LMG were great, no quarrels there. In the end, I have to mention the superb writing again as it was the thing that made me recommend this movie. The grittiness and authenticity of situations, the lack of melodramatic twists and strong dialogue are all things that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. If you like Coen brothers movies, I’m sure you’ll like Cold Comes The Night so be sure to check it out. And if you’re looking for similar movies, I recommend you check out Sweet Virginia starring Jon Bernthal, it’s fucking brutal.
Director: Tze Chun
Writer: Tze Chun, Oz Perkins, Nick Simon
Cast: Alice Eve, Logan Marshall-Green, Bryan Cranston, Ursula Parker, Sarah Sokolovic, Ashlie Atkinson, Robin Lord Taylor
Fun Facts: Sophia’s pet Mr. Jones is a painted turtle, a very common species in North America. He is listed in the credits (in the Stunts department) as HHH Duck – his real name is ‘Horny Horny Horny Duck’.