It’s been a long wait for Open 24 Hours. The first trailer made its way online in February 2019 and immediately found itself cemented on my watchlist. Single location? Check. Unreliable narrator? Check. Half burned, rain slicker costumed killer? Bit specific but yes, check. Now after waiting over a year with no word, Open 24 hours is being released via FrightFest Presents. The question is, was it worth the wait?
One thing that Open 24 Hours gets right straight out of the gate is presentation. The film looks beautiful from start to finish and this is down to the cinematography from David Matthews. His use of lighting and shadow gives the film a cinematic look that far surpasses similarly budgeted projects.
The cast are also fantastic across the board. Vannessa Grasse is perfect as the lead Mary delivering a performance that could have so easily been played as a shrieking mess. Instead Vanessa handles her evolution from victim to final girl wonderfully and conveys fear and confusion of paranoia and delusion frighteningly well.
Brendan Fletcher is unsurprisingly great as Bobby, presenting a character that’s easy to root for and someone you want to see still breathing when the sun comes up.
Finally we have Cole Vigue who plays the villain James with a sinister calm that I found incredibly effective. He’s a slasher I could easily see carrying a franchise going forward.
The film is more of a slow burn than I initially anticipated with most of the violence kept for the second half of the film. Normally that would be an issue but with performances this strong the lack of slashing in my slasher is forgiven.
Also the ending is slightly abrupt, and left me feeling as if I’d missed a scene, but these are minor issues in an overall successful horror film.
All in all I enjoyed Open 24 hours for the most part. The film looks fantastic, the performances are uniformly great and the gore when it hits is brutal. I’d love to see more of the filmmaker’s work going forward and even a sequel.