A group of teens decide to go to the woods to play some night games, particularly the game nightlight. The woods however, have a legend of demonic forces and people taking their lives. Despite one of their classmates disappearing in the same woods, they enter anyway. As the group journeys further into the woods, they find themselves in more danger and that the legend may actually be true.
Nightlight is yet another entry into “found footage” genre. The story itself is engaging enough, as I mentioned in my review of The Gallows, i enjoy urban legend stories, and I love films that take place in the woods even more. The film can be considered a combination of The Blair Witch Project and The Gallows (as you might expect). One thing it gets credit for is that not everything is entirely given to us, we are only given snippets of the legend and put the pieces together as we go. However, when the twist occurs, the remaining of the film becomes entirely predictable. Although it is found footage, Nightlight takes an extremely impressive technique by having the flashlights be the means of filming (the camera inside the flashlight). The idea works because the flashlights are their only means of being able to see (except for a few occasions). The first half of the movie actually provides a great sense of creepiness and chills with a couple of decent jump scares and it uses the woods to its advantage (though I wish they had used the nightlight game much more for the story’s value). However the last half it really begins to drag and almost become repetitive, we also lose some of our characters halfway through the movie and it leaves us wondering what the hell happened to them. This in turn gives us very little character development for them and nothing but focus on the main character. Despite this we are given an extremely annoying lead who is whimpering the whole time. In all honesty, I wanted more of the characters we didn’t get a lot of than the ones we did (the main girl and the bitch she gets stuck with). Along with the lack of character development, the performances, while far from horrible, are not anything special or noteworthy. Some are way worse than others, some are just okay at best.
As far as an entry to the found footage subgenre, Nightlight isn’t groundbreaking or anything new and features a weak latter half, non-developed characters, and non-engaging performances. But it provides a good story, a unique camera style, and some fairly good thrills and a great setting. It’s not one I recommend, but it kills time.