Jul 222020

Survive the Night is merely one of those bland movies that’s just competent enough to not be bad yet have such an average script to be all that entertaining, even as a time-waster.



Survive the Night

Genre(s): Suspense/Thriller
Lionsgate | R – 89 min. – $21.99 | July 21, 2020

Date Published: 07/22/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Matt Eskandari
Writer(s): Doug Wolfe (written by)
Cast: Bruce Willis, Chad Michael Murray, Shea Buckner, Tyler Jon Olsen, Lydia Hull, Riley Wolfe Rach, Jessica Abrams

Features: Featurette, Interviews, Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1

Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (DTS-HD MA 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.00
Subtitles: English SDH, Portuguese, Spanish
Disc Size: 44.20 GB
Total Bitrate: 46.04 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Lionsgateprovided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

THE MOVIE — 2.25/5

Plot Synopsis: After two brothers commit a robbery that goes wrong, one of them, Matthias (TYLER JON OLSEN), is mortally wounded, forcing sibling Jamie (SHEA BUCKNER) to stalk a trauma doctor named Rich (CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY) from the hospital to his home. While holding Rich’s wife (LYDIA HULL) and daughter (RILEY WOLFE RACH) hostage, Jamie forces Rich to operate on Matthias. For the family to survive the night, Rich must team up with his estranged tough-as-nails father, retired sheriff Frank (BRUCE WILLIS), in order to gain the upper hand and turn the tables on the criminals.

Quick Hit Review: Generally I enjoy the simplistic home invasion movie, even ones many don’t, such as The Strangers and The Purge. As long as it entertains and has a few suspense-filled moments, along with satisfactory performances, I will give it a solid enough rating. So it says something this movie didn’t work for me. Now comes Survive the Night from our old friend, Grindstone Entertainment, like most from this studio, on a technical front they’re okay but it’s apparent executives find the screenplays on some trash heap, drag Bruce Willis in for $1 million per day, and turn it into a quick buck.

The movie has the ingredients for a fun, quick suspense-thriller with some adequate actors including Willis and Chad Michael Murray (who recently starred in the last few Sniper movies) and a apparently people behind the camera with some experience with, you know, framing shots, getting good audio and such. The issue comes with a screenplay, credited to Doug Wolfe with his first script; characters making really dumb decisions and worse, a weird attempt to give some sort of sympathy to one of the antagonist, who is an outright psychopath. Not sure why they went in this direction giving the guy some humanity or whether this was initially even in the script since he murdered two women in cold blood.

Beyond that, Survive the Night is paint-by-numbers, nothing really standing out. Bruce Willis give it his least (really, his character here is indistinguishable from his other Grindstone roles) and Chad Michael Murray serves as a unremarkable lead. The supporting cast are bland though guess I can give them some credit for not sleepwalking through their parts.

The film was directed by Matt Eskandari who appears to be Grindstone’s go-to guy having worked with them a few times in the past, most recently Trauma Center, also co-starring Willis (and another, Hard Kill, coming up). It’s pretty obvious movies like Survive the Night are fillers for the shelves at Wal-Mart or in the Red Box machines… Not bad enough to have fun mocking, not good enough to be enjoyable.



This release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed, slip cover. Inside is a redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Making Survive the Night (10:00) is a basic behind-the-scenes featurette with on-set interviews with the cast talking about the characters and plot.

Interviews (32:22) with Director Matt Eskandari and Actors Chad Michael Murray, Lydia Hull, Jessica Abrams, Shea Buckner and Tyler Jon Olson.

Trailer (2:07)


VIDEO – 4.5/5

Lionsgate releases Survive the Night onto Blu-ray, presented with a 2.00 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here looks well polished, detail, particularly on close-ups, have great detail and sharpness with the natural film noise being present. Colors are a bit tampered down with most of the film taking place at, well, night with some okay brightness during the morning sequences.

AUDIO – 4.25/5

The included DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is basic but effective enough. Dialogue comes through with good clarity and there is some modest depth, just nothing overwhelming or overly strong. During the outdoor scenes there is some discernible ambient noises coming through the rear speakers along with the generic score.


OVERALL – 2.5/5

Overall, Survive the Night is merely one of those bland movies that’s just competent enough to not be bad yet have such an average script to be all that entertaining, even as a time-waster. This is also another quick paycheck for Bruce Willis.



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