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Iranian-American psychological thriller The Night on digital in April

18 February 2021

Described by rogerebert.com as a “remarkable evocation of Kubrickian horror”, The Night is an outstanding debut feature from Iranian American writer/director Kourosh Ahari, featuring fantastic lead performances from Shahab Hosseini (Cannes and Berlin Film Festival winner for The Salesman and A Separation), and Niousha Noor (Here and Now), as a beleaguered couple haunted by the past. Set over a long dark night of the soul, the film is superbly mounted, with a nerve-jangling soundtrack and a slow-building sense of dread – managing to combine a sensitive look at the immigrant experience in the US with some genuinely shattering horror moments.

The Night poster

Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2020 Molins Film Festival in Barcelona,  the film also screened at the Sitges, Santa Barbara, and Nightstream film festivals last year. Filmed in a hotel in Los Angeles suspected to really be haunted, that makes The Overlook seem positively welcoming in comparison, The Night is a chiller that, like The Babadook and Hereditary, shows that horror rooted in family grief and guilt is the most terrifying of all. The first US-produced film to be released in Iran since the 1979 revolution, Ahari’s breathtaking debut is a brilliantly gripping and nightmarish vision by a masterful new talent - with an ending M Night Shyamalan would kill for. The film recalls recent outstanding chillers His House and The Vigil, Iranian horror favourite Under The Shadow, and Turkish cult frightener Baskin.

After a night out with friends, an exhausted married couple, Babak (Shahab Hosseini), Neda (Niousha Noor) and their baby take shelter in the grand, but eerie Hotel Normandie. Throughout a seemingly endless night, mysterious disturbances ruin their night’s rest as Babak and Neda soon realize they’re locked-in with a malevolent force that hungers for the dark secrets they’ve kept from one another.

With The Night, director Kourosh Ahari made history for being the first US-produced film to receive a license for theatrical release in Iran since the revolution. The psychological thriller follows in the footsteps of The Shining, luring viewers into a hotel that is both ominous and inviting, where the ghosts of the past still linger around each corner. The terrors that linger in the corridors are more real and terrifying than any movie monster in a mask. The Night will make you never want to spend a night away from home again.

The Night will be released on digital platforms by Vertigo Releasing on 2 April 2021.