Gone in the Night

. . . in which a CABIN IN THE WOODS becomes a psychological gathering place where what is happening is never what it appears to be.  Gone in the Night is captivating with the misdirection as its mystery widens and one woman finds herself on a stakeout for all the wrong reasons.

And it begins with a mistake. 

"The mood throughout this thriller is ominous and disturbing"


Speaking of mistakes, I remember one night when my family and I were in Houston, and we were given the keys to our hotel room.  It was late and we were beyond tired; ready to crash for the evening.  Unbeknownst to us, we were given keys to a room that was already occupied. We didn't know it and the couple, making love in the room when we opened the door, didn’t know it either.  SURPRISE!  You can imagine everyone’s embarrassment as we realized, fumbling for the light switch in the dark, what had just happened.  

We were obviously given another room by the hotel, but WHAT IF we weren’t?  What would have happened if we were forced to stay or - as what happens in Gone in the Night - given the opportunity to share the room with the people who were already there?

This is the basis in Writer/Director Eli Horowitz’s Gone in the Night, a new mystery thriller from Vertical Entertainment, co-written by Matthew Derby, which opens on Friday. The dark film is involving as it webs its many threads around the audience who find themselves watching a situation in which a man suddenly disappears in the night with a complete stranger, abandoning his girlfriend, who is left to pick up the pieces.

But what if it wasn't by chance?Gone in the Night

Upon arriving at a remote cabin in the redwoods, Kath (Winona Ryder, who is a standout here) and her younger boyfriend, Max (John Gallagher Jr.), find a mysterious young couple (Owen Teague and Brianne Tju) already there — the rental has apparently been double-booked. With nowhere else to go, they decide to share the cabin with these strangers. 

The tension is already palpable as Kath finds herself suspicious of the whole thing.  She should be.  From a brief discussion of breakbeats on a Jamiroquai album to the idea that traditional coupling is capitalistic, her intuition is that something is off and, when it is revealed that there are no beds in the place, for good reason.

Because, in the morning, everything has changed.  

Kath is alone and her boyfriend has mysteriously disappeared with the young woman.  Just what the hell happened here?  Kath becomes obsessed and enlists an unlikely supporter (Dermot Mulroney) with finding an explanation for their sudden breakup— but the truth is far stranger than she could have ever imagined.

While there is a bit of push-and-pull in the narrative structure, thanks to flashbacks which leave Kath’s point of view but force the mystery to deepen, the movie pulls off the unimaginable with intrigue thanks to Ryder’s wonderfully on point performance - which is full of concerns about aging, especially when she starts to develop a romantic interest in Mulroney’s helpful character, who is older than her own missing boyfriend - and the chemistry between her and Mulroney.  Everyone has a secret here and their individual answers are chilling.

The mood throughout this thriller is ominous and disturbing, leaving much gnashing of teeth and fingernails in its wake as the pressure finally washes away in the film's final moments, leaving audiences to ask just what kind of person or people would do any of this?  Oh, that's right.  The aging . . . which is all of us.

And that answer, as the film suggests, is Gone in the Night, opening on July 15th.

4/5 stars

Film Details

Gone in the Night

MPAA Rating: R for language throughout and brief bloody images.
90 mins
: Eli Horowitz
Matthew Derby; Eli Horowitz
Winona Ryder; Sedrick Cabrera; John Gallagher Jr.
: Thriller | Mystery

Memorable Movie Quote: "Why is there another car here?"
Vertical Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 15, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: When Kath and her boyfriend arrive at a remote cabin in the redwoods, they find a mysterious younger couple already there. Her boyfriend disappears with the young woman, and Kath becomes obsessed with finding an explanation.


Gone in the Night