Directed by Eli Horowitz and written by Horowitz and Matthew Derby, Gone in the Night is an engrossing mystery-horror that deftly and knowingly plays with its viewers, interspersing brief flashbacks that offer just enough information to tantalize and add new depth to its core mystery.
Kath (Winona Ryder) feels self-conscious and maybe a little insecure in her relationship with younger man Max (John Gallagher Jr.), formerly her student. When the two decide to escape on a weekend getaway to a rented cabin hours away from the city, they’re stunned to find a young couple—Al (Owen Teague) and Greta (Brianne Tju)—already inhabiting the premises. After the four decide to share the cabin for just one night, Kath wakes up to find that Max is missing…and so is Greta. Informed by Al that the two have run off together and heartbroken by Max’s betrayal, Kath returns home and tries to move on, only to become obsessed with the idea of learning more about Greta.
Kath’s search for answers soon leads her to reach out to the cabin’s affable owner, Nicholas (Dermot Mulroney), with whom she quickly builds a connection. But as their relationship grows and their investigation continues, the mystery only deepens. Through their connection, the film tackles the motifs of grief, chronic illness, and the fear of aging, the heavy themes lightened by the pair’s charming and hesitant flirtatiousness. Less a whodunit and more a “wtf happened,” the film builds to a shocking and deliciously evil finale. While some elements of the plot may feel a touch tenuous, the exceptional performances by (and chemistry between) each of the five principal cast members keeps the film lively and engaging. Bonus points for David Bolen’s excellent cinematography and David Baldwin’s wonderful music choices.