Open 24 Hours
open 24 hours | padraig reynolds | vanessa grasse | brendan fletcher | emily tennant | slasher | canada | cole vigue | daniel o'meara | Selina giles | tomi may | jovana miletic | muirenn brady | connor catchpole
Film: Open 24 Hours
Director: Padraig Reynolds
Writer: Padraig Reynolds
Starring: Vanessa Grasse, Brendan Fletcher and Emily Tennant
This was another movie that I saw showing up on people’s end of year rankings for 2020. Figured I would check it out due to wanting to ensure my list was rounded out. I knew the basic premise coming in, but not necessarily where it was going. The synopsis here is after setting her serial boyfriend on fire, a paranoid delusional woman gets a job at an all-night gas station.
We start this movie off getting the aftermath of the events we will see. There is blood everywhere at the Deer Gas Station. It then gives us our main character of Mary (Vanessa Grasse) as she is filling out an application to work there when she stops at the question, ‘Have you been convicted of a felony’. She marks yes. That’s when the manager, Ed, comes to check on her. He then proceeds with the interview. He’s leery about her lack of experience, but has a good feeling. He hires her on the spot and she starts that night.
Giving her a ride home is her friend of Debbie (Emily Tennant). She’s stuck by her friend’s side despite everything. We learn that Mary is out on parole. She was dating a serial killer who made her watch as he killed. To fight back, she set him on fire. She ended up still doing time in prison for watching as he killed many of his later victims. Her parole officer is Tom Doogan (Daniel O’Meara). He comes to visit her and scolds her for not having her home phone plugged in.
There is a good reason for his concerns, she’s unstable. When she arrived home and before Tom showed up, she saw her ex James (Cole Vigue), killing a victim in their bathtub. It isn’t real and she is taking medication to keep her psychosis in check. Tom is hard on her while wanting her to succeed, but she’s worried if she reveals what she sees that it will get her locked away forever. We also learn that she is terrified of the telephone and the rain thanks to James.
Mary shows up for her first shift with Debbie and we meet the worker who shows her the ropes. His name is Bobby (Brendan Fletcher) and he takes a liking to Mary immediately. There isn’t much to the job and he shares that the graveyard shift is pretty boring. He will come to check on her, per the orders of Ed.
Things seem to be going pretty smooth for the most part. She is hit on by an inappropriate trucker, Tomi May. We also see that there is someone dressed in a rain slicker, much like James used to. She knows that she burned him though and he’s in prison. Did he somehow escape or is this someone else that is stalking this poor woman who is trying to get her life back on track?
That’s where I’m going to leave my recap and shift over to the analysis. The first thing that this movie is really pushing hard is the idea of the unreliable narrator. Mary was pretty innocent in all of this, except that she didn’t turn in James when she realized what he was doing. I think this is an interesting idea to explore here as she is technically an accomplice, but not necessarily willing. She was afraid of him. This goes on for so long though is why I think she was convicted and does her time in prison. There are people that want her locked up for the rest of her life, much like her ex-boyfriend. Seeing the things that she did messed her up pretty bad to the point where she is on medication and is still hallucinating. For her, we don’t know what we’re seeing or hearing if it is real or not.
Next I want to go to the opening sequence which technically is the last sequence or around about there. This movie becomes a slasher. We first see this idea when Debbie is leaving the gas station after dropping off Mary. She is attacked by someone who is dressed as James was when he was doing his killings. This person is in a rain slicker. This is an interesting idea that feels much like the serial killer in The Dead Zone. He only kills when it is raining. Fro this movie, I was wondering if this really happened and if it is real who actually did it. One of my first thoughts is Mary and we’re just seeing things a bit out of order. I will say that we get an interesting thing here that is a bit different than normal before it finally settles into the movie we’re getting. It does become pretty standard from there if if I’m going to be honest.
What I was impressed with about this though were the effects. It looks to me like they went practical with pretty much everything. This movie gets violent and gets bloody. It doesn’t go exploitation level with the gore, but we see enough to understand the brutality. What is working here is that we don’t see it all. There is a bit left up to our imagination and using things like blood on characters along with their reactions to make it feel worse as well. There is a bit of CGI with some of the blood spray, but these are quick and only at a couple spots that I noticed. I will give credit to the cinematography as well for being good.
Since I’ve delved into the Mary character, the performance really helps to bring her to life from Grasse. She is acting like someone that is unstable. We see during things where she will zone out or her expression will change to that of dread. This all worked for me and making me feel like she is losing it. I liked seeing Fletcher here. It might be a bit convenient that he comes back, but I’ll take it. The movie needed more characters to progress it. Tennant was solid along with Vigue, O’Meara and the rest. Someone who I really like is the character of Karen Rogers (Selina Giles). She isn’t in this movie a lot, but she does something interesting to change up the story for me.
To be honest, that’s all I really wanted to go over for this movie. That is not to say it is bad though. This takes the slasher genre, where we’ve gotten a lot of replicas and it does something a bit different for me. I like where this movie goes and it kept my interest throughout. The acting really helps there as I get to know the characters and they’re pretty likeable in my book. The effects were done mostly practical which I’m always a fan of and I think the soundtrack helps to set the movie as well. I don’t really have any gripes for the movie if I’m going to be honest. For my rating, I would say that this is a good movie for sure.
My Rating: 8 out of 10