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When Night Falls (2007) Online

When Night Falls (2007) Online
Original Title :
When Night Falls
Genre :
Movie / Horror / Thriller
Year :
Directror :
Alex Galvin
Cast :
Tania Nolan,Rosella Hart,Kevin Keys
Writer :
Alex Galvin
Budget :
NZD 35,000
Type :
Time :
1h 22min
Rating :
When Night Falls (2007) Online

A Thriller set in 1932 about two nurses trapped in a country mansion with their invalid patient whilst a killer is on the loose. A series of unexplainable events start to occur and the nurses begin to wonder if they are no longer alone.
Credited cast:
Tania Nolan Tania Nolan - Louise Williams
Rosella Hart Rosella Hart - Martha Davis
Kevin Keys Kevin Keys - David Andrews
Sylvia Rands Sylvia Rands - Mrs. Jacobs
Gerald Bryan Gerald Bryan - Mr. Jacobs
Alex Galvin Alex Galvin - Dr. Thomsen
Richard Nichol Richard Nichol - Edward Leigh
Mike Bodnar Mike Bodnar - Radio Announcer
Arkwright Arkwright - Napolean (The Cat)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carla Feakin Carla Feakin - Nurse Wilkins
Kate Lineham Kate Lineham - Nurse Jamieson
Denise Menara Denise Menara - Nurse Morris

Although set in one house, 8 different locations were used to create one fictional home.

The actors rehearsed and trained for over three months before filming commenced.

To ensure complete authenticity, all costumes were made specifically for the film and based on original 1930s designs.

The period cars that appear in the film were also used in Peter Jackson's King Kong.

User reviews



This film was a really pleasant surprise.

An edgy, scary little thriller that left me a lot more scared than heaps of other horrors I've seen. It's definitely the best NZ film I've seen in a long time.

Set in 1930s New Zealand, it starts out as quite a simple period drama about two nurses looking after a patient at his country home. But it becomes more dark and scary as it goes along, when we begin to realise that someone may be playing some very nasty psychological games on them.

My only small criticism is that the film did take a while to get going. But once the scares start, they really keep on coming!!

Definitely worth a look if you like getting the chills!


When Night Falls is definitely one of the most enjoyable, and suspenseful films I've seen in a while. It's starts out as quite a straightforward story about three women trapped in an isolated house with a possible killer lurking in the area. The type of horror setup we've all seen countless times before. But very soon it becomes a real psychological game of cat and mouse, in which you've got no idea what will happen next. Some people might find the film's first half a little slow moving, but I thought that actually worked really well in building up atmosphere and getting us to know, and care about the characters. The second half, though, is very much the film's highlight, with some really great scares, action and twists! This is a must see for those who enjoy a good scare and lots of surprises.


Saw a test screening of this a few weeks back and absolutely loved it!! It had the best acting of any Kiwi film I've seen in a long time and there were some really great scares and twists! The second half of the film, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. And the ending completely blew me away!! The 1930s sets and costumes all looked authentic and I never would have guessed that the film was made on a relatively low budget. Also the music was the best I've heard from any film in ages. It was beautiful but also really scary when it had to be. All in all, this is one of the best thrillers I've seen in a long time, not just from New Zealand but anywhere. Though if you don't like getting scared, it may not be for you.

Really recommend it!


This was a really enjoyable psychological thriller. A nice homage to to those great suspense films of the 1930s and 1940s.

The film has a very deliberate pace and setup, which I can see wouldn't be to everyone's taste. This isn't a film for people with short attention spans. However, I found it really gripping from beginning to end.

Even though the film starts quietly, there is a real sense of dread right from the opening. There's never any doubt that bad things are going to start happening. It's just a case of when.

The middle section is all about scares, and there's plenty of them. The girls around me had their heads in their hands more often than not...

The ending was a real surprise. Perhaps not entirely believable, but I certainly didn't see it coming. And judging by the screams around me, neither did many others.

The acting, particularly by the two nurses, Tania Nolan and Rosella Hart, was excellent. They have by far the majority of screen time together and really play off each other well.

This was a really enjoyable film. It's clear that a great deal of care, craft and talent went into it, and it's a welcome addition to New Zealand's film titles.


Rented this out last week, and was pleasantly surprised.

I'm a big fan of classic mysteries and old school thrillers which this film most definitely is. Because it is so deliberately old fashioned in its style and look I think it will be a film that will really divide people.

Set in 1932 New Zealand, it has some really good atmosphere and scares.

Considering the tiny budget the film was made for, I think the director Galvin did a good job. Particularly as he says in the commentary track that it was filmed in just ten days. Was also impressed that the awesome looking house that the film is set in is actually a composite of 8 different houses! It really does look like one house.

The disappointments for me was that the ending didn't live up to all the build up and I thought there was too much music in the film. Less music can often be more effective! So my advice, if you like a good old fashioned thriller, definitely check it out. If you're a Rob Zombie slasher fan, avoid.


When Night Falls is almost a Jekyll and Hyde kind of film.

After a great little prologue, the first half is very slow and atmospheric. Apart from getting to know the characters, not a lot else happens.

Then, in the second half, all hell breaks loose! There's lots of scares, actions, twists...everything!!

I really loved the second half, but personally did find the buildup of the first half too slow. I can see that the director wanted us to get to know and care about the characters, which is great, but a few boo moments or something would have helped to keep the audience on the edge of their seats.

So: First half - 5/10 Second half - 10/10 Overall - 7/10


Call me a wimp, but this film really scared me!!

I can't remember the last time I was so on edge in movie theatre. Right from the first scene in the hospital ward (which made me and my friends jump out of our seats), there's a feeling of real dread and terror. And things just keep getting darker...

I think the main reason the film works so well is because the director realises that what we don't see can be much scarier than what we do see.

The villain is only exposed near the very end, but you can feel his presence in every scene.

The other great strength of the film is its music. It's very beautiful, but also unsettling and very haunting.

The only weakness, I think, is at the end where the suspense gets replaced by non-stop action. It was all well shot and staged, but I think the suspense worked better! We can see action like that in any slasher film.


In a time of mindless giant robot fighting films, explosions and car chases, rendered on banks of servers, When Night Falls is a breath of fresh air.

Made for around US$10,000 and shot over 10 days (according to the Directors Commentary on the DVD), this film achieves what the mega budget films so often fail to do.

The story is a good old fashioned thriller, reminiscent of the classics. A suspect, a few red herrings thrown in and an atmospheric location all contribute to an enjoyable experience.

Director Galvin was certainly ambitious with the given budget, by placing the story in 1932 New Zealand. However, it paid off. The period costumes, cars and locations are spot on, and add to the 'classic thriller' feeling.

This film is NOT going to appeal to the teenage boys who hunger for hard bodies draped over the bonnets of alien transforming robot cars....

It WILL certainly be appreciated and enjoyed by the more discerning film goer, not only for the story, but for the work and effort Galvin has put into the film, an obvious labour of love.


It's the 1930s in rural New Zealand. Two nurses are resident in a country house caring for a young invalid. The setting is apparently tranquil - but somewhere in the area roams a deranged killer with an apparent predilection for strangling nurses. As night falls, a series of odd accidents leaves the two nurses shuttered in the house, with a building fear that they may not be completely alone.

This debut feature from New Zealand writer/director Alex Galvin is a slow-burning thriller that rewards close attention. The film eschews cheap frights early on to build up a gradually mounting tension, aided by an effectively eerie score. When the suspense breaks, there are some genuine scares and unnerving twists that leave the viewer perched on the edge of the sofa.

Impressively slick for its reportedly low budget, When Night Falls has some clear Hitchcockian touches, but it also brings to mind an Agatha Christie-style closed room mystery, while the disorienting movement around the cavernous old house at times give the film an almost David Lynch-like creepiness.


Effective period thriller set in New Zealand about a killer on the loose murdering young nurses in the community.

After murdering three unfortunate women the murderer zeros in on young Nurse Louise Williams, who is caring for a patient in his estate outside of town. But we don't know who the killer is! From the very beginning, the suspense begins to build, while at the same time Louise's character immediately attracts and holds our concern and sympathy. The combination works very well, and while you're never sure what else is going on, or which of the other characters can be trusted, you know that Louise is in danger and that you care about her.

Some of the plot developments probably are somewhat implausible, but the story and atmosphere are crafted so effectively that you never notice while watching.

Anyone who enjoys classic thrillers should make sure to see "When Night Falls".


To be honest, it was nice to see a locally made film, independent at that, making a refreshing spin on a suspense thriller of bygone days but in a modern style. Well worth watching, and beautifully produced.Certainly this film has been a labor of love, as this is seen in the way all the actors came across in the film. At times the way the film was shot, you felt at times that you in the actors shoes and were actually experiencing the film.Other times you felt the influences of Steven King, and all the other old masters of the suspense genre style, through out the film in the way it was shot. I can see this cast and crew go forward onto bigger and better productions. It is sometimes hard to realize that this is a first full length feature film they have made, and also having the hard task of writing the script producing and directing this all on a shoe string budget.Plus shooting the whole film in just 10 days. I shall wait with baited breath to see how the next project produced goes, will it or will it not be a follow on. I suppose only time will tell


Shot digitally on a budget, this thriller from New Zealand manages to be intriguing enough until the last 20 minutes.

The film doesn't lose any time establishing the premise. Our protagonist Louise is a nurse. She takes care of an ill patient in an isolated mansion, who will require more oxygen. This forces the groundsman to leave the mansion. The doctor has other things to attend to and this means Louise will have to spend the night there with the house Mrs. Jacobs, the housekeeper and another nurse, Martha Davis. Three women and a weak man spending a night in such a remote location shouldn't be a problem. Except there is a serial killer on the loose. And he happens to target nurses.

These events take place in 1932 and for the most part, first-time writer/director Alex Galvin goes for a nostalgic feel half way between Hitchcockian thrillers and slasher films from the late 70s and early 80s. Except he doesn't have the directorial skills of the masters of old and it shows here. The result looks more like a humorless take on the game Clue, or a murder mystery you would play out with friends, then a legitimate thriller.

The setting, it must be said, is amazing. The old mansion is truly gorgeous and very evocative. It has been pointed out to me by another user that the director actually shot the movie in several different houses, choosing rooms as suitable and as evocative as possible.

The acting on display here is pretty weak. Tania Nolan as the protagonist nurse has the pretty face and angelic look but is pretty wooden. The other main actress is the other nurse, played by Rosella Hart. The housekeeper and the ill patient have very few scenes and not much is demanded of them acting-wise.

The first two-third of When Night Falls rely on good old suspense. The night falls, there are noises, there is tension, things are not right. There's no action scene here. Just interaction between the characters and walking around this gorgeous residence while contemplating how best to spend this night, hoping the killer is not around.

Things pick up in the last third, where the tension heightens. Unfortunately, the movie becomes even more horrendous. As Galvin reveals more and more of the mystery, our reaction as the audience is "huh, that's what is going on?". The music score, which was weak and over-dramatic from the start becomes unsustainable. As the film focuses less on the unknown and the fantastic mansion, Galvin has to direct real thrilling scenes and fails. The action sequence are of the worse amateurish kind and our two main actresses may be very pretty, but become terribly unconvincing.

I'm disappointed. As I write these lines, this movie is rated a very good 7.2 with seven reviews, most of which are glowing and praising various aspects of the film which obviously deserves none of that.

When Night Falls seems like a labor of love by a group of amateurs and there is nothing wrong with that. I'm sure Galvin did his best. He established a nice air of suspense early, adopted a classic feel instead of cheap modern clichés and used a jaw-dropping film location.

But the actual direction, cinematography, music, acting and the story? It's all weak. An honest rating could hardly go above 5 and I personally feel it is worth a 3.


Having read the other reviews, I decided to give this film a try....big mistake on my part.

I have seen other low budget films that were quite enjoyable but I have to say this one was pretty bad. The acting was fairly wooden, I didn't check to see if the actors have been in other movies or not, but based on what I saw, I doubt it.

The "action" sequence was the most pathetic thing I have ever seen, it looked so fake that even though the movie was almost over, I had to hold myself back from turning it off.

I think I have an idea of what the director was trying to do, but he shouldn't try a genre like this until he has more experience under his belt, Alfred Hitchcock he is not.

The premise was alright, but the director failed to inspire the actors at all.


A delicious little homespun thriller that hearkens back to the isolated-cottage stage thrillers of the 1930s and 40s (it is set in 1932). The fact that it is set in an old house in New Zealand helps immeasurably--the opening shots make the house seem like the only one in the entire country. All the elements are familiar (escaped killer, locked windows, strange noises), but the director juggles them in unexpected ways.

The commentary on the DVD is highly enjoyable--Alex Galvin, the director, tells of how the house was pieced together out of eleven separate locations (including his own garage) and several of them were historically-preserved houses from the era. The traffic at those locations made the audio track unusable, and the film had to be re-synched from top to bottom (Tania Nolan, the leading lady, supplied the footstep noises for everyone). The limited amount of shooting time meant the lead actresses had to rehearse all their scenes, including fight choreography, for two weeks beforehand (as if it were a play) and then deliver in a few hours while lighting conditions were favorable. Perhaps most amusingly, modern telephones and signs had to be digitally erased, frame by frame (most painstakingly in a scene where Tania Nolan walks slowly down a hall with knife upraised, and there was a telephone behind her head which was wiped out, pixel by pixel, in each shot.)


It seemed like someone had a cruel sense of humor to take a film school movie project and actually put it out on DVD. It seemed like it was nothing more than an amateur work project for some film school.

The movie was amazingly slow moving. You had to get well over halfway through it before things started picking up pace. And even then it was boring and uneventful.

There was nothing scary about this movie, except maybe the fact that whomever made it actually made money off of it.

At best, some of the bright moments in the movie was parts of the music. But the absolute top moment of this movie was when it ended. I forced myself to sit through the entire movie, because I was sure that something cool or thrilling was bound to happen, that no movie could possibly be this boring and uninspiring. But, boy was I wrong, oh how I was wrong! I physically felt myself grow older as this movie dragged on and on. I sympathize for anyone sitting through this movie, honestly. My heart goes out to you.

Stupid "twists" to the plot, which seem to hinder the movie from progressing more than it adds suspense to an already faltering storyline.

I like thrillers and horror movies, but this one sunk even below rock bottom.


Another horror thriller with nurses in their starch white uniforms and caps in a country house in New Zealand in 1932. Newspaper headlines flash across the screen, nurse killed by maniac; then a second and a third. Louise and Martha are taking care of an invalid patient, by themselves, and despite locks on the windows and doors, objects move and strange noises emanate through the walls.

The groundskeeper has left for the night to pick up an oxygen tank and will not return 'til morning. Director Alex Galvin tries his best to be Alfred Hitchcock, with shadows and quick shots of the terrified women screaming and jumping at every unexplained sound. He is not the great Alfred and When Night Falls is not Psycho. The good news is that the thing only runs eighty minutes. Do yourself a favor and rent a Hitchcock DVD instead.