After Leah Shaffer (Gabi Alves) finally leaves her emotionally manipulative husband, she finds a friend in a drifter with whom she quickly feels a deep connection. The drifter introduces Leah to a prodigal chemist, and Leah learns her new friends are all that is left of a doomsday cult that disbanded years earlier. Together, the new trio is about to change the world, but before they can reveal their secrets, they have to tie up loose ends with Leah’s husband–and their ex-leader.
TJ Marine’s At Night Comes Wolves actually has a fairly solid premise that could be quite entertaining with the right script and characters. It’s the perfect setup for a revenge story about a girlfriend getting back at her abusive boyfriend akin to the likes of Ari Aster’s Midsommar. But Midsommar this is not. At Night Comes Wolves is a hollow, sloppy mess that doesn’t care one bit about crafting interesting characters and features a script that feels too on-the-nose and corny, rather than fiery and exciting.
I had a really bad feeling about this movie about ten minutes in when I was treated (or tricked I suppose) by a barrage of weird and cringe-worthy scenes. I was hoping that the poorly written scenes would end right there, but sadly, they did not. There are plenty more awfully boring and bland scenes throughout, but the sad thing is that there are occasionally some glimmers of goodness every once in a while.
The atmosphere is actually quite good and there is a palpable sense of tension every once in a while. Gabi Alves does a genuinely good job in the role of Leah Shaffer, as well. She is able to pull off a sympathetic woman with an urge for revenge so well. One minute she seems like a sweet, innocent woman, and the next, you feel uneasy by watching her.
Sadly though, that’s probably where my praises for At Night Comes Wolves end. One of the film’s biggest sins is just how short it is. Clocking in at just seventy-six minutes in length, it feels like the film doesn’t really have any room for exploration of the story and the characters. It’s far too rushed and there is barely any time spent developing the characters. Not even Leah, who is supposed to be our lead protagonist.
At Night Comes Wolves is certainly a respectable effort, though. The concept is relatively strong too. Sadly though, while watching it, I couldn’t help but wish I was watching the same concept just executed with a better script. Oh, well. Maybe one day. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should definitely check out Midsommar if you’re looking for a movie with a similar premise and one that executes it significantly better.
Overall Grade: D
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Directed by: TJ Marine
Written by: TJ Marine
Distributed by: Gravitas Ventures
Release Date: April 20, 2021
Running Time: 76 minutes