Movie Review: “Sun In the Night” – Achievement of Lowkey Films

Written by Angela September 05, 2014

When I last watched a production from the UK independent company LowKey Films, I was transported to the surreal realm of a haunted rural cottage in the short horror entitled “Maengwyn”. Since then, the boys at LowKey have been hard at work to create their latest feat, “Sun in the Night.” But instead of striving to scare the collective pants off its audience, “Sun in the Night” shows off LowKey’s versatility as a dramatic exploration of life and loss.

Filmed by Connor O’Hara, Jamie Gamache and Alex Lincoln on a shoestring budget of £30 (about $53), “Sun in the Night” tells the heartbreaking tale of Mark Rogers (Stephen Karl), a devoted family man struggling to recover from a traumatic car accident. After sustaining severe damage to the frontal lobe of his brain, the film begins as he is discharged from the hospital with the knowledge that his perception of the world and personality will be heavily altered by the injury. As the weight of these changes consume him, he falls into a deeply disturbing depression that threatens to isolate him forever from his wife and two daughters. It is not until the family faces the most difficult challenge of all that Mark finds his footing and learns how to express his love for the people around him once more.

Considering its modest budget and limited running time, “Sun in the Night” succeeds as an engaging depiction of family life during difficult times. The story, and its encompassing themes of mental illness, the pressures of familial duty and the possibility of finding hope in even the most hopeless of situations, is nothing short of a risk for Lowkey’s confined format. Regardless, its solemnity is pulled off with the kind of finesse that only an experienced and improving directorial team can achieve.

Pacing and editing are the keystones to any good film, but these elements are especially important factors when it comes to short storytelling. Both are used to their full potential in order to relay the complexity of Mark’s situation. From a flash of a draining bathtub to a brief smile as Mark recalls happier times, not a single frame is wasted in this film. Additional points are earned with the acting, which is impressively believable in light of the bleak tone they must convey in a few short scenes. Closeups of the actor’s faces are used quite often to propel the story forward, and rightfully so. Through their performances alone, it is highly evident that the filmmakers carried forth the same meticulous attention to detail that was seen in “Maengwyn.” Lowkey Films has certainly established, and in this latest work, has polished, their own precise style of filmmaking.

The accomplishments of Lowkey Films are a testament to the potential of all young and ambitious movie makers, proving that entryway into such a competitive industry need not be conventional. To those of you looking for an example of intrepid amateur filmmaking and its consistent progression, I highly recommend giving “Sun in the Night” a watch, along with their other projects.

My Rating: 7/10

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About Angela

Angela McInnes is an English major and up-and-coming horror film aficionado. To her, happiness is a bottle of rum and a creature-feature on a Saturday night.

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