Last night, Erin and I started to watch a film called Drawn Into The Night on Tubi. Erin abandoned the film after 10 minutes but I stayed for the whole thing!
Why Was I Watching It?
According to the film’s description on Tubi, the film was about a cop who goes undercover in a high school in order to investigate the disappearance of three cheerleaders. I love film about undercover high school cops and I figured that Erin would enjoy critiquing whether or not the film was an accurate representation of the high school cheerleader experience. Anyway, Erin stopped watching after 10 minutes but I stuck with the film because I feel guilty whenever I stop watching a movie before the end credits start.
After the film was finished, I did a little research and I discovered that Drawn Into The Night (which Tubi claimed was a 2022 release) was actually a heavily edited version of a 2010 film called A Lure: Teenage Fight Club. Teenage Fight Club was a little over 90 minutes long. Drawn Into The Night had a running time of 67 minutes. Just judging from the reviews that I read of Teenage Fight Club, it would appear that a lot of nudity and excessive violence was edited out of the film that became Drawn Into The Night. That’s fine by me. I love a good thriller but I’ve grown a little bored with violence for the sake of violence.
What Was It About?
After three high school cheerleaders mysteriously disappear, a detective named Maggie (Jessica Sonneborn) goes undercover as a high school student. She joins the school’s field hockey team and makes a quick frenemy out of spoiled Brittany (Augie Duke). An invitation to a rave turns out to instead be an invitation to be forced to take part in a teenage fight club, where the fights are to the death!
The film was short. That may sound like a back-handed compliment but, after sitting through countless films that rua over two hours despite not having enough story for 30 minutes, it was kind of nice to see a film that wrapped everything up in 67 minutes. Of course, some of that is because this was a heavily edited version of a longer film but no matter. It still worked!
The film had some nicely atmospheric shots of people running through the night, often being pursued by an inbred hillbilly. Some of those scenes had a dream-like intensity to them.
Augie Duke gave a good performance as the hilariously self-centered Brittany.
What Did Not Work?
Because of the way the film was edited, there were several continuity errors. One character, in particular, is seen in one location just to be show up in a totally different location one jump cut later. I’m going to guess the original version of the film included a scene of her arriving at the different location. In the edited version, she just appears to teleport from place to place.
Maggie going undercover would have been more interesting if not for the fact that all of the high school students already appeared to be in their 20s. Despite the fact that three cheerleaders had mysteriously vanished just a few days previously, none of the other students at the school seemed to be the concerned about it. At my high school, if someone popular was kidnapped, people definitely would have been talking about it.
The identity of the main villain seemed to come out of nowhere but I am, once again, going to assume that’s because of how this version of the film were edited down from the original version.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
One character has asthma and you better believe that I was cringing when she was trying to catch her breath while running away.
I did sneak out to a few all-night parties when I was in high school and I usually did ruthlessly critique the type of car my older friends drove so I could definitely relate to Brittany. But I’m happy to say that I was never forced to take part in a teenage fight club.
When there’s a kidnapping spree going on, don’t accept invitations to parties in the middle of nowhere.