NYCTOPHOBIA (2024) Review by Steve Kirkham



3 stars
Miracle Media. Digital 22nd April

Nyctophobia, in case you were wondering, is an extreme fear of the dark – taken from the Greek word for night. Useful information for your next pub quiz!

It’s clearly a popular title amongst filmmakers as alongside this film, there is another production of the same name out this year. Add to this the numerous shorts also utilising the same designation.

In this one we have twins Rose and Azalea (Bianco D’Ambrosia, recently seen in CALL JANE and lots of TV and sister Chiara, also in many television shows). They are celebrating their high school graduation at their Mum and Dad’s house with their friend Brooks (T J Tanner, THE ORVILLE).

Odd things start to happen, like the moon seemingly disappearing from the night sky, and then there is a total blackout, leaving them trying to move around in complete darkness. As luck and plot lines would have it one of their phones still works… so what do they do, well film everything of course using the light on the device. Because this is yet another in the seemingly long line of found footage films which we could honestly do without.

As they capture the footage they hear odd noises, and people pop up bleeding from their eyes. Is it an alien invasion? Shakycam ensues as the trio try and discover just what is hiding in the gloom. As such, if you can forgive the constantly jittering image, this makes good use of sound fx to try and generate some kind of scares, with rudimentary make up depicting the blood dripping peepers.

Overall though this over stretches a meagre plot and feels more like a short film shot over a weekend as a jape, than a fully considered feature film. As it is the compact run time is extended by a wraparound involving vloggers investigating what went on to eke it out to 80 odd minutes. Too many wobbly shots for my liking – but then I have a general aversion to this type of lazy filmmaking.

Steve Kirkham