Of the many offerings from 2017’s bevvy of brilliant horror films, one couldn’t help but be drawn to the Frightfest feature that involved Robert ‘Krueger’ Englund.
Nightworld is the latest film from seasoned director Patricio Valladares and follows Brett (James London), a retired cop from LA who relocated to Bulgaria after marrying a local woman.
When his wife dies, Brett seeks solace in a change of scenery and takes on a new job at an old grand mansion in the city of Sofia.
His duties are unusual and before long Brett finds out that the building hides something dark and mysterious in its deep underbelly.
It soon becomes clear that this malevolent force is intent on breaking into our mortal realm and he has an important role in preventing that from happening.
The ideas behind Nightworld are far from innovative. From early on, everything seems far too familiar and predictable from the behaviours of the lead character to the scenario he finds himself. Generally, it’s far too easy to read what he is likely to do later on, and this makes it less enjoyable.
Playing out like a horror mash-up of Mirrors (2008) and Night at the Museum (2006), this caretaker’s routine brushes with the unusual are all too banal to spark interest, let along fear in the viewer.
This is in part due to the uninspired plot but also the bland delivery by the cast, who range from mediocre to amateur in terms of performance.
London’s unenthusiastic portrayal of the lead character lacks emotion and dynamism, but still sits some way off Gianni Capaldi who plays Martin the building’s manager. He seems as confused about how to play his part as he is about his accent, which swings this way and that.
The only good performance comes from Englund who plays blind, former caretaker Jacob with aplomb.
One might mistake the film for a recorded improvisation session led by a professional (Englund) that the other aspiring cast members bought on Groupon. Yep, they’re that bad.
Add to that the silly bits, such as the unnecessary shroud of secrecy that is only there to keep the audience interested (why wouldn’t they just tell the caretaker what he’s doing from the beginning if it’s that weird and obvious?) AND the weird ego trip that is the very attractive Lorina Kamburova, playing the intelligent barista Zara, who for some reason can’t wait to jump into bed with this aging, average, out of shape caretaker.
End result? A film that it’s hard to take seriously.
Worst of all, there are very few scares and surprisingly little gore, leaving one to wonder of this film was only ever intended to make it onto the SyFy channel during the day.
To sum up, Nightworld is one to miss, unless you love Robert Englund and are willing to endure dross just to see him deliver another solid performance.