The Night Of Medusa (2016)

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I haven’t managed a very good start to the new year, but I’m hoping all that is behind me for now and things will only get better from here on out. I wanted to go out to the theater this weekend to catch a movie that came out, actually a couple of movies, but a short check from being off work prevented that. That is fine though, I have plenty of movies to watch that I want to review anyway. For today, I decided to review a movie off my list that I had to buy in order to watch it. Amazon has it for sale, but you have to combine it with another order just so they will ship it. I don’t like that practice, but I was going to order something else anyway, so it worked out. The Night Of Medusa is off my best of 2016 films list. I just have a couple more films from that list that I know I can watch, so I thought I would knock those out before moving on to 2017 films.

Elaine (Haley Zega) is off to college in New York City. This is her first time in a big city like this one, so to say she is nervous is a bit of an understatement. Things don’t start off well for her as she has trouble getting classes because she doesn’t have a student i.d. yet and then she falls asleep during the very first class. To make it more embarrassing, she is told that she was talking in her sleep some. Her new roommate Courtney (Carmen Vienhage) is full of herself and looks down at Elaine. Courtney goes as far as taking pictures of Elaine and making fun of them online without Elaine knowing about it. Elaine begins having dreams of the Medusa and seems to be followed by a well-dressed man that is also interested in the subject. Could Elaine have something to do with the Medusa legend?

The Night Of Medusa was written and directed by Joshua Kennedy. This is a movie that I wanted to like because of its low budget, but I could never get into it much. A lot of that had to do with the music. I don’t mind classical music, which seemed to be the music of choice for the film, but not when there is so much of it. It wasn’t the music itself, it was just the fact that the majority of the scenes had music going with it. There weren’t many scenes that were quiet and those that had music with them, it made the dialogue hard to hear sometimes. Another thing I didn’t like was the story itself. Elaine would sleep walk but nothing really comes of it. She will look in the mirror and see snakes from her head that may or may not have been there. It takes the story a long time before it fully explores what is going on with Elaine. In the meantime, it tries to keep us interested by showing how mean Courtney and her friends can be to Elaine. This was fine and all, but I didn’t really get the point of it all beside Elaine possibly getting revenge at some point. I thought the story would be more interesting to explore the Medusa angle it seemed to be trying to work itself up to. I think the main reason it didn’t explore this more is because of the effects, which I will get into more further down.

Even though there were a few strikes against The Night Of Medusa, it wasn’t all bad. The acting was a plus. Haley Zega does a pretty good job in the lead role. I can’t say that I always liked her acting, but it was never so bad that it took me out of her character. Haley also has the “girl next door” look about her, which I thought went a long way with her character as well. Hopefully, she gives acting a try again, as this appears to be her first film. I would like to see what else she can do. I also liked Carmen Vienhage. She has the snobby type character down good. While some of her friends in the film outdo Courtney in this department, they aren’t around as much as Carmen is. Joshua Kennedy makes an appearance in his own film as a mysterious guy that follows Elaine around. I don’t think he ever says anything. Liam Wildes has a good sized role as a love interest for Elaine.

The effects for The Night Of Medusa aren’t very good. The snakes that we see are not very well defined. Mostly they look like a green glob that moves like a snake a bit and stand straight out. There are also some floating heads that appear now and then that don’t look the best. When someone was turned to stone, we get some weird colors to go with it as it is happening. I just found the effects to be on the cheesy side, which isn’t always a bad thing. Since I wasn’t into the film all that much, I didn’t care all that much about the effects either.

I was never sure if The Night Of Medusa intended to be a cheesy low budget film or if it just ended up that way because of the budget. Either way, it didn’t really work for me. Not completely anyway. I didn’t know how long the runtime for the film was going in, so I looked it up and was a bit worried when I found out. With it being just 66 minutes long, with hardly any credits to be found, I was worried from the start about how good The Night Of Medusa might be. Usually, the short runtimes don’t work in its favor, and it didn’t here. I felt that was the case here, especially since the ending feels a little rushed. I didn’t really hate The Night Of Medusa. I will likely give it another watch someday, but it isn’t a film that I will likely ever get into completely. It is an interesting effort though and hopefully, Joshua Kennedy will be able to improve his craft if he keeps making films. I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go out of their way to watch this movie, but I don’t want to discourage you either if it sounds like something you can get into.

2 out of 5 I wonder what hair snakes eat

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

8 Comments:

  • cattleworks: Heather!
    When I first saw the poster image for this movie i thought, “Oh! Heather is digging up some old movies to check out!” but that wasn’t the case at all.
    I liked your review after reading it, but it especially resonated after checking out the trailer for the film on Youtube.
    The low budget aspect of the film is immediate with the title: “A Gooey Film, A Joshua Kennedy Company.” The use of famous classical music throughout. Haley Zega does have an appealing “girl next door” look, too.
    For the most part, the trailer is adequate, and the brief appearance of CGI snakes is indeed cheap looking, but there is a sincere quality about the filmmaking that warmed my heart. Plus the poster is very cool and evocative of an era of filmmaking.
    I wound up checking this Kennedy dude’s Youtube channel and the trailer for the second film advertised in the NIGHT OF THE MEDUSA double feature, SLAVE GIRLS ON THE MOON is a hoot! This was doubly exciting because not only was the trailer entertaining, but there’s an actual slave girls on the moon film. I thought it might be just for effect and added asa title on the poster.
    Anyway, thanks for checking out this film and sharing yopur thoughts, Heather! Now I have another filmmaker’s work to check out!
  • Vale: I just checked out the trailer after reading your review, it does look low budget, but like it might be fun to watch anyways. It says it’s his 10th work, do you know what the other 9 are?
  • mermaidheather: Attack of the Octopus People, The Menace with Five Arms, Slave Girls on the Moon, Airline ‘79, The Vesuvius Xperiment, Dracula A.D. 2015, Curse of the Insect Woman (short), Voyage to the Planet of Teenage Cavewomen (short), The Night Is Young (short). Since this movie: The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Alpha Omega Man, Theseus and the Minotaur, The St. Augustine Monster (short) (I think I have seen that one actually at the last festival I went to), and House of the Gorgon (not released yet).
  • Vale: Which of them did you see, or just the St. Augustine Monster?
  • mermaidheather: Just this film and the short so far. I could be wrong about the short but the title seems familiar to me.
  • cattleworks: What Best of 2016 list would this film be on???
  • mermaidheather: If I remember right, I got it off the awards for best film from Fangoria magazine. I had not heard of any of the films so I took it that they were dealing with low budget films.
  • cattleworks: Huh. Thanks for the info!

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