A couple wake up in the night to a man searching for something in their home. After they are forced to kill him in self defense, they decide to take one hour before calling the police to search for what they hope is a hidden fortune.

Cast:  Michelle Rose, Kurt Yue, Michael Aaron Milligan, Carolos Aviles, Matt LaBorde, Jeff Ridgway, Troy Faruk, Lucius Baston

Directors: Walker Whited
Writers: Sean McCane, Walker Whited

Heather (Michelle Rose) and Mark (Kurt Yue) wake in the middle of the night to find a man in their home. Instinctively, they defend themselves. But as the man’s associates surround the home and cut-off any calls for help, it’s up to them to figure out what they want, and if they want to give it to them. 

At just shy of ninety-minutes you may think that By Night’s End is a blistering thrill ride, but unfortunately, stilted dialogue and a messy script hold back some solid performances and good cinematography. The set-up is fast and the stakes are obvious, but the film fails to build any real tension between scenes.

Michael Aaron Milligan in By Night’s End - image supplied

Michael Aaron Milligan in By Night’s End – image supplied

The film asks one key question: if you had intruders looking for treasure in your house, would you give it to them? Or try and find it for yourself? And if you chose the latter, how hard are you willing to fight for it? 

Michelle Rose is the standout here with a solid performance alongside the movies heavier action scenes. She has a stunt performer background and here she shows strong signs of transitioning into a starring role in an action blockbuster. 

The head of the home invaders is played by Michael Aaron Milligan who’s very hammy performance adds some personality to the film. But it’s also just rather silly and as the film progressed his character became less crazy and scary and just plain silly. 

One key story thread for the couple is the loss of their child a year prior. Something they’re obviously still struggling with as they are attempting to start a new life. However, the film never hits anything truly emotional with this thread and it seems like it was just added in to give some dramatic scenes between the leads. 

Thankfully the short runtime means there is some fun to be had here. By the time I was growing tired of the film, it was moving towards wrapping up. I’m not sure what the end of the film says about the questions it initially asks, but it was a mindless afternoon watch and you could do much worse this Halloween season. 

By Night’s End is now streaming on Amazon & Vimeo.


(By Night’s End screener provided for review)