Directed by Tom McLoughlin [Other horror films: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives (1986), Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Haunting of Helen Walker (1995)]
I don’t think that this early 80’s entry to the genre is all that special. I’ve seen it twice, and while I rather like the atmosphere and much of the story, I’m not entirely enamored by it. That said, it’s almost certainly worth a look if you’re a fan of 80’s horror, despite it not being amazing.
A good girl needing to spend a night in a mausoleum (because she just has to get into this sorority-type clique) where a recently-deceased telekinetic killer has been interred makes for a fun movie, despite there being a hell of a lot of set up. I don’t think any real action starts up until about an hour into the movie. That said, in it’s 80’s way, One Dark Night is still fun.
Meg Tilly isn’t a name I know (though she was later in Psycho II), but she does really admirably here, and I rather liked her somewhat adorable nature. This can also be said for Elizabeth Daily, who was the most hesitant of the sorority girls. She didn’t do that much past a certain point, but I enjoyed her time on-screen. Most others don’t make much of an impression, including Leslie Speights, Robin Evans, David Mason Daniels, and Melissa Newman. Obviously, Adam West was interesting to see, but he adds little to the movie.
The supernatural killer here is interesting, especially as he uses his powers to raise the corpses of the mausoleum to attack the girls. I’m not really big on the whole telekinetic killer thing, but it was sort of cool seeing him barely move yet able to cause such mayhem and horrific chaos. On a related note, the special effects are decent, especially toward the end, so kudos there.
One Dark Night isn’t really a classic in any sense, but it is harmless fun, despite the long set-up and somewhat shaky conclusion. For fans of 80’s horror, I don’t see a good reason not to give it a shot.
And for more, One Dark Night was covered on the Fight Evil podcast, so if you want to listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one, enjoy.