They Cry By Night (2020) 44 mins
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Starring: Dustin Sammann, Yani Monzón, Leah Woodruff, Kevin Zansler, Wes Sheridan, Lisa Cates, David Salone, Amon Bofie Tlhalerwa II, Danny Allegretti, Amy Sheridan, Christi Wiltenburg, Renie Haiduk, Isaiah Sandoval, Zach Taylor, Taylor Auriel.
When a vacation goes awry, Carlos and Antonia are forced to stay in the state of New Mexico due to obtuse and bureaucratic new laws dictated by the federal government. Meanwhile, a serial killer, dressed vaguely as a leopard stalks the city of Santa Fe, looking for new victims.
Loosely based on Jacques Tourneur's 1943 horror film The Leopard Man, They Cry by Night abstracts the original thriller on the horrors of Spanish/American colonialism into a portrait of 21st century Santa Fe, complete with angsty millennials, economic anxiety, and failed revolution.
“They Cry By Night,” by director Wes Sheridan, is a slow cinema mix of cultural essay and mumblecore character study, placed in an environment of fear and uneasiness... On a person-to-person level, it’s a film about reluctant relationships and getting trapped in places with people you have complicated feelings for. On a societal level, it delves into the fear-mongering and culture wars of modern-day America (its regional foundation plays a large part - the film is brimming with local detail). Balancing out its academic leanings with oddly surreal and slightly comedic visions of the leopard killer on the loose (“The Leopard Man is Watching,” so says the flyers popping up around town), Sheridan’s film is layered and expansive, and requires close attention. It may be a tough watch for some, but for those with a taste for the admirably long-winded, it’s a compelling concoction that connects more pieces than you’d think. - Kentucker Audley NoBudge.com