Thursday, June 18, 2020

Review: The Night Clerk

Release date: February 21, 2020
Running time: 90 minutes
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas, Helen Hunt 

The Night Clerk follows Bart (Sheridan), a voyeuristic hotel clerk, who becomes the subject of a murder investigation.  Bart works the nights at a hotel and has installed a series of cameras in the rooms to observe the occupants.  And while this would normally seem sinister, Bart is on the spectrum and is doing this in order to try and understand and practice conversations.  However, this sinister but innocent practice goes awry when his cameras witness a murder.

The Night Clerk has a nice, compact story with decent characters.  Sheridan does a good job as Bart, with his quirks and sensibilities.  He fashions him into a likable character who just happens to have some different practices.  And Sheridan has to do a good job because although the practices that Bart does are innocuous when explained, they could have come off as very creepy.  Thankfully, the character stays in the more mundane realm rather than crossing over.  After witnessing the murder, Bart meets Andrea (de Armas), an intriguing, understanding traveler who instantly takes a liking to Bart.  As with everything, de Armas is great as Andrea, and provides a love interest for the awkward hotel clerk.  However, the relationship that they have is a little weird, especially the way that it starts.

The story of The Night Clerk is a nice, compact journey but it has some issues.  Despite being a relatively short movie, the story is slow at times and has a lot of coincidences that move it along.  However, these coincidences can feel contrived.  There are not a lot of characters to meet and a lot of it does take place through hidden cameras.  The voyeuristic style that tells a lot of the story is an interesting one, and definitely gives a different perspective to how some of the scenes playout.  But the conclusion of the story is a little too convenient and feels unfulfilling.

The Night Clerk has an interesting premise and some good characters, with a voyeuristic style that gives a unique perspective on this thriller.

Rent it.

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