Night Owl

(Matthew Patrick, USA, 1993)


Night Owl is a thriller which ventures into some sensational areas. A mysterious, seductive, female voice rules the radio waves of New York; no one knows who this night owl is or where she broadcasts from.

Soon, men who cannot get this siren's voice out of their heads are hurling themselves off buildings or stabbing themselves in the ear.

Julia (Jennifer Beals) is a scientific rationalist who becomes obsessed with analysing the mystery of the owl's voice, especially when her own, unhappy husband (James Wilder) is drawn by its spell.

Julia must confront the mystical possibility that the voice is a spirit – the spirit of Female Vengeance, no less, come to wreak havoc in a culture that "denies magic, women and the dark", as she is told by a radical anthropologist (Jackie Burroughs).

What begins as a simple murder mystery becomes, by turns, supernatural fantasy, horror movie and finally a paean to the spiritual power of love.

Director Matthew Patrick (Hider in the House, 1989), has fashioned an odd, captivating thriller in the manner of a Larry Cohen B film: high on fanciful ideas, low on the special effects budget.

© Adrian Martin March 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
home    reviews    essays    search