Poker Night: A Decent Thriller Film That Keeps You Guessing At The Twists And Turns
Greg Francis wrote and directed the 2014 criminal thriller film Poker Night, which was distributed in the UK as The Joker. On December 5, 2014, the film was released on video on demand, and on December 20, it had a limited theatrical release. Poker Night is a British Columbia-set film about a rookie detective who chooses to attend an annual poker night hosted by experienced cops, where each one recounts how they apprehended a murder suspect.
On February 10, 2015, Xlrator published Poker Night on DVD and Blu-ray. ‘Poker Night' is a unique and challenging film. Greg Francis developed his talents as a writer/director on television, and now that he's branching out into feature films, he's proving to have a deft touch. It's poker night! That's the night when the detectives from Warsaw, Indiana, come together to play poker, drink beer, and chat about their past cases and the lessons they've learned along the road.
The newcomer is Jeter (Beau Mirchoff). He usually simply listens, hoping to glean knowledge from experienced investigators' expertise. However, we quickly discover that Jeter is just thinking about his poker evening. Poker Night is a great little horror movie in the style of films like "The Silence Of The Lambs" and "SE7EN," with some of the same impact. The antagonist is a deranged murderer who is almost as unforgettable as the killers in those flicks. Greg Francis has a long history of writing and directing television shows, but his debut feature picture is an auspicious start with a film that demands attention.
Poker Night is a 2014 thriller/horror (ish) film directed and written by Greg Francis. When rookie policeman Stan Jeter (Beau Mirchoff) is kidnapped by a masked attacker, he must rely on the tales recounted at his senior officers' poker sessions to stay alive. Because that's the entire purpose of Poker Night: you listen, learn, and then repeat the process. It will, hopefully, save your life.
The supporting cast, which included Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, and Titus Welliver, was unexpectedly high-profile – their flashback sequences are more fascinating than the film's main storyline. Similarly, the bright, stylized scenes where the masked antagonist is explaining his backstory are juxtaposed with the gruesome story. The film's flashbacks are sort of "choose your own adventure" segments; the action reflects the shit-talking the older cops are doing and the way they would handle each case. It's an intriguing way for the film to illustrate Jeter's interpretations of events.
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As for the main plot, it's fairly typical fare, with a few twists and turns thrown in, but an ultimately disappointing conclusion. Although the disappointing conclusion contrasts well with the old police tales, it is still irritating to go through a one-hour and forty-minute video with little to no resolution. It defines a number of narrative clichés, but its unique offers don't always land the way I believe they were meant to. Give it a single viewing simply to hear the old guard's tales, but don't spend too much time trying to get your friends to watch it, otherwise, you'll all be disappointed.
The spectator is jolted back and forth in time, and Francis spends very little time on the screen describing what is happening and why. Francis alternates between humor, horror, and suspense. Visual storytelling is difficult, and writing is much more difficult. This is one of those films that fans will want to watch several times in order to fully comprehend the plot. It may even need a little eye strain on occasion. The spectator should be aware that there are certain situations that seem to be unpleasant.
Poker Night is a film full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the very end. The cast does not disappoint, with realistic performances throughout.
When a new investigator joins the Warsaw, Indiana Police Department, he also joins the department's poker night, according to the storyline. The detectives take turns telling tales about the most memorable cases they've worked on throughout their careers, in addition to playing poker. Several of the officers may have had ordinary careers since some of the "memorable" instances seemed to be little more than regular arrests.
Stan Jeter (Beau Mirchoff) must use what he learns from these tales to rescue himself and his girlfriend when they are kidnapped by a masked maniac who brutally assaults them and imprisons them in his basement. The psycho's persona is akin to the Jigsaw kind who often appears in these types of films; he inflicts tortures that make you cringe, but they're handled discreetly on screen.
Poker Night Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Thriller HD
The movie moves about a lot, with numerous flashbacks revealing backstories intended to provide subtext and intrigue. Regrettably, this adds to the film's confusion and disorientation. Stan, for example, appears in all of the flashbacks, taking the place of the other characters.
This may be distracting and needs the spectator to pay close attention in order to comprehend what is going on. Another example is the hilarious moment in which the evil guy's motives are explained. In a flashback, he may be seen wearing his terrifying leather mask in apparently ordinary circumstances.
The bad side effect of these flashbacks is that they steal valuable screen time away from some of the other great performers in the picture, in addition to tiring the audience and wearing their patience thin.
In many respects, Poker Night is a cliché of the genre. To begin with, like all good horror films, the flashback that reveals the background of the disguised evil guy includes a clown and the Easter Bunny. His masked head tilts often, as do virtually all masked psychopaths in films of this genre. His choice of site for incarcerating Stan is likewise standard, harkening back to the Saw movies.
Created by: (U.S.-Canada) A Wingman Prods. the presentation in collaboration with Tunnel Post was released by XLrator Media (in the United States). Corey Large was in charge of the production. Alan Pao and Jack Luu are executive producers. Aaron Rattner and Chad Crowchuk are co-producers.
Greg Francis directed and wrote the screenplay, which was based on a narrative by Francis and Doug Buchanan. Brandon Cox, camera (color, HD); Howard E. Smith, editor; Scott Glasgow, music; Chad Krowchuk, Daren Jacobs Luc Sasges, production designer; Brad Leith, art director; Jay Allan, set decorator; Beverley Huynh, costume designer; sound, Sebastian Salm; sound designer, Dan Creech; supervising sound editors, Christian Dwiggins and Dan Creech; re-recording mixer, Dwiggins; assistant director, Kate Weissman.
Poker Night was a thrilling and exciting police drama that had my heart pounding for the whole hour and forty minutes. I did see several narrative flaws in Calabrese's depiction of Jeter's investigative abilities. For example, numerous scenes in the film portray him as a negligent and inattentive cop who lucked out with the greatest case of his career. Instead of the little snippets throughout the film, I wish there was more conversation and presence from the supporting actors.
The serial murderer himself (Michael Eklund), who stole the show by portraying the character's pedophilic temperament and sickening appetite for dead corpses, was the standout performance. Overall, I had a lot more fun watching this movie than I anticipated. Greg Francis, who directed, was another honorable mention, and I think that if he continues to refine his craft, he will become a more well-known figure in the coming years.
"Building a case means never giving up."
The language, violence, and sexual content are all rated R.
Time on screen: 104 minutes
Beau Mirchoff, Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Corey Large, Titus Welliver, Ron Eldard, Michael Eklund, Ron Eldard, Ron Eldard, Ron Eldard, Ron Eldard, Ron Eldard, Ron
Greg Francis is the director.
Poker Night is one of those movies that you'll see once and then forget about. It's not a fantastic film, but it's one of those "wildcard" movies you watch on Netflix when you can't decide what to watch. Overall, the film takes a little while to warm up, but it is an entertaining and compelling movie if you stick with it.
If you're searching for a good thriller/horror film to watch but don't want to get too deep, Poker Night will have you on the edge of your seat with its numerous twists and turns.
POKER NIGHT is, in the end, nothing more than a pot of smoke, flash, and glitter. After PULP FICTION, it felt like every subsequent 90s crime film was simply a sad, clumsy effort to imitate Tarantino's demeanor. All those nonlinear style-over-substance films that looked great for a while, but turned out to be a hill of beans in the end. POKER NIGHT is a little bit like that.
It's much too preoccupied with its convoluted narrative twists and frantic back-and-forth narration. Unfortunately, being a poker enthusiast and a fan of this ensemble, it simply doesn't work. Instead, you should watch SUICIDE KINGS or ROUNDERS.
Poker Night - Horror Movie Thoughts and Review (spoilers!) w/ Ron Perlman , Giancarlo Esposito