Nightbooks 2021 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
It’s super mediocre. I wanted to watch a modern children’s movie, but they are all off and mediocre. Just like old children’s movies really. At least now you get way better effects and a bit better acting. But largely it’s not good movies. Maybe kids will like it? I can’t say. It’s a very basic story, the acting is acceptable to good. And the script is very mediocre at best. Often the characters just stand around and do nothing instead of trying to get themselves out of danger which is extremely lazy screenwriting and feels frustrating. A lot of smart decisions could have been made here, but weren’t.
My main issue with this movie is the editing. They use multiple cameras and we constantly jump from person to person in dialogues. We get a lot of crooked shots from all angles and you have about a shot per second I think. The camera jumps from place to place even in calm scenes and you get dizzy and confused everywhere. The acting is also over the top. As I said the characters often just stand around in fear and look at the danger so you have a ton of scenes where the kids just scream or act sad which is where the movie really fails. Both the kids are good enough actors in calm scenes, but when the little boy needs to show any emotional range he is horrible. I’m not panning him. Rather the director should have guided the actors much better and made sure they could act out roles that fit their skills. Instead a good enough actor is forced to act out scenes he is just not skilled enough to do and the director clearly guides him into terrible decisions that make for bad scenes.
For adults this is a skip. It’s not bad or boring. It just feels pointless and tame. The main story issue is how rushed the background story is. We are just put into the magical apartment while getting zero background info. So you can’t even properly root for anyone as nothing here is introduced emotionally. Rather everything is introduced via dialogue. So if you want to know what they care for or what families they are from it’s in the dialogue only. For a children’s movie this is an especially horrible decision. It’s also just lazy and bad writing for such a big production. The emotional pull in this movie is minimal at best because everything emotional is dialogue only.
But having said all that, just because it’s not a good movie doesn’t mean kids won’t like it. Kids like plenty of terrible movies with bad plots. They may like this one if they like PG rated horror movies. It’s also a bit better than the typical children’s movie. That’s not saying a lot, but there are some very great sets here that I did enjoy. Especially the library.