It's time for our ninth movie, 1982's thriller One Dark Night.
One Dark Night is notable for two of its stars, the protagonist Julie
played by Meg Tilly (younger sister of Jennifer Tilly) and Batman's Adam West.
The film opens with coroners arriving to a grisly and bizarre crime scene at the apartment of a Russian mystic named Raymar, where the bodies of six missing girls and Raymar himself are discovered. After Raymar's funeral, his daughter is visited by one of the old man's old colleagues who tells her of their frightening experiments with "bio energy" and warns her that the danger may not be over. Meanwhile, Julie desperately wants to join a school clique called "The Sisters," and tonight is her final initiation test: She must spend the night locked in the mausoleum where Raymar has just been entombed. As soon as she steps foot inside, Raymar's body (still teeming with stolen bio energy) begins to react, setting the stage for what is certainly to be a long, dark night.
I have to be brutally honest, here. This movie was painfully dull. To call it a "slow burn" would imply that there was ever a spark. Nothing really happens until the final twenty-five minutes of the film when Raymar's energy begins pulling bodies from their coffins to levitate around the mausoleum and bump into people. That's literally all they do. The corpses are not animated, they do not hunger, they do not attack. They simply levitate, scraping their toes along the floor, and bump blindly into the living teens trapped in the building.
But to give credit where credit is due, the corpse effects are both realistic and gruesome, and there are even a few memorable corpses, including the soldier whose face is partially reconstructed with mortician's wax.
If you're more into suspense than true scares, this one might be for you, but I really can't recommend it to anyone hoping for a good, adrenaline-pumping scare. I say skip it.