I really enjoy one aspect of “Mischief Night,” and it’s the two scene walk on role by Malcolm McDowell. I mean seriously, who walks around various neighborhoods to quiz people about Halloween and warn them about not opening their doors? Who in the world has that much time? For all intents and purposes, director Travis Baker makes damn good use of the extra money he spent on McDowell’s appearance. Sure the man has nothing to do in the movie, but he’s in there, come hell or high water.
Is he a cop? Is he a priest? Is he just a religious nut? I’ll be damned if we ever find out for sure, but he’s there to provide exposition for the audience and chew the scenery for a few minutes. That said, “Mischief Night” is a dull movie. It’s tedious, monotonous, and thinks it’s being clever with its surprise twist, but it’s not. You have to wade through ninety minutes of no story and zero events just to get to the twist, and by then you likely have fallen asleep or exercised the fast forward button excessively. It’s Mischief Night, the night before Halloween where the ghouls and goblins come out to play, and the time of the month is most dangerous.
Brook Anne Smith plays Kaylie, a young woman babysitting for a toddler for Mischief night. That very night a group of pranksters are wreaking havoc around her neighborhood and a masked killer has decided to set their sights on her. Surely enough much of the events play out with about as far fetched a pitch a possible, as the two begin playing a cat and mouse game, resulting in a bond that the pair can’t really describe. I can’t describe it either lest I ruin the big ending for you; but much of it results in tedious back and forth dialogue between the pair and none of it ever escalates in to terrors.
There’s nothing worse than a boring horror movie, and “Mischief Night” achieves maximum boredom at all times. Surely the performances by the cast are strong, but that doesn’t compensate for a film lacking in just about every trope a slasher should strive to work for. The body count is low, and the thrills are about rock bottom. I would have found the ending to be a shocker if the film would have used its setting and set piece well, but there’s simply nothing here to enjoy, save for the adorable Smith, who plays sexy Kaylie. In the end, “Mischief Night” is another misguided Halloween themed horror movie.