One Night in October describes itself as The Purge meets Creepshow, but this anthology film doesn't live up to either. The three semi-interwoven stories in One Night in October, written and directed by Christopher M. Carter, are fun, but leave the audience wanting more. Each seemingly takes place on the same night in October…
…Story One shows us some teens poking around a cornfield and finding some occult looking artifacts before being warned off of the property by the owner. After their truck breaks down on the way back to civilization, Charlie (Kaitlan Renee) and girlfriend Kate (Casey Norman) walk back to the farm to see if they can borrow a phone to get help. Soon they're being stalked by a scarecrow and try to fight back.
It's nice to see LGBTQ representation in horror fiction, and the same-sex couple Charlie and Kate are, indeed, representation. And neither dies first, so that's good. The story could be something special if given the room to expand. It's got a lot going on for it. However, the end of the segment relies on a pretty talky exposition dump that stalls the action and left me wishing the backstory was the movie I was watching.
In Story Two, Michelle (Jessica Morgan) has just moved into a new home and is decorating for Halloween. A nosy neighbor chats her up and runs into her later. Then that night a stranger comes to her door, knocks her out, ties her up and begins to terrorize her and the nosy neighbor. But not all is what it seems. Soon we find out the neighbor is in on the home invasion. And then we find out that Michelle is more than just a quiet neighborhood newbie. Once the tables turn, in a twist that's been done a million times, the only thing the story has going for it is some nice gory special effects.
This story was the most disappointing of the three. The victim-turns-killer trope has been done a lot and in better ways. Michelle here doesn't have the dynamic range to really make the switch from helpless victim to killer believable. Although, as with the other segments, if it was given the chance to be a feature on its own, it might have worked out better.
Story Three tells the strange relationship between Emma (Rachel Netherton) and Dominic (Nathan O. Miller). The two obviously want to be together but something is keeping them apart. Something only allows them one night together every three months or so. But we don't know what. It isn't until Emma goes home alone and a stalker breaks into her home that we see just how strange her relationship with Dominic is and why they have to be apart.
Story Three actually works and I would love to see it re-edited into a standalone short. The mystery as to why Emma and Dominic can't be together and can only see each other in secret every three months could easily be turned into a movie all of its own. The reveal of the reason Dominic must stay away from Emma is interesting, giving a kind of supernatural star-crossed lovers story that would be fun to explore more.
From a purely technical standpoint, Carter knows what he's doing. One Night in October is fun to watch. It looks good. It flows well. But the writing feels generic. The characters are flat and some of the dialogue is unrealistic. At best the movie is watchable.
One Night in October is now out on VOD from Wild Eye Releasing.
By Drew Sprague