REVIEW: By Night: Origins
– By LastBoneStands
The anthology series has long been a popular method of story-telling. Most well-known being the Twilight Zone television series or the fantastic films Creepshow and Tales From the Darkside. This method of story-telling has seen a resurgence as of late with the popular shows American Horror Story and Channel Zero, among others.
By Night: Origins is the latest series to take a crack at the format. So far, there are 3 episodes available. Each telling its own stand-alone story, only to be tied together at the end of the 3rd episode. Each episode of By Night packs a lot of story into a little time, as the episodes range from around 11 minutes to 17 minutes. No time is wasted and each line of dialogue is meaningful, each action taken by the characters pushes the narrative forward. There is no time wasted on needless exposition or long lingering shots. All of this is stripped away like gristle on a steak, leaving the viewer with nothing but meat to sink their teeth into.
The 1st short is called Airborne. A pilot and a seemingly lonely woman meet at a bar and share a shot before the pilot departs for an early flight. It seems that everything happens for a reason, and this chance encounter will shape the rest of this pilot’s life.
Coming Storm, the 2nd episode, features a man that is living the dream and partying like a rockstar with a group of musicians. It turns out that this group is looking for more than just a good time. Things quickly unravel and both sides reveal that they are much more than what they seem.
The finale is The Crossing. This one is the longest of the 3 shorts. We are introduced to a priest inside a church, protecting an infant from a group of angry men and women that are out to destroy the child. After delving into the priest’s past, we find that the destiny of this baby and the beleaguered priest are invariably connected.
Each episode is well plotted, and as mentioned, nothing seems wasted here. The acting is all spot on, with no real detectable weaknesses and we are treated to some familiar faces in Gil Glasgow, Max Bogner and Jon Huck.
The plotting, as well as the lingering threads that connect things will leave you craving more. I certainly hope that these threads are followed up on as the series continues. Each short feels like it could be a decent feature length film on its own, but when tied together in a shared universe, the sky is the limit.