6.2/10
16,843
132 user 51 critic

Nightwatch (1997)

A law student, who takes a job as a night watchman at a morgue, begins to discover clues that implicate him as the suspect of a series of murders.

Director:

Writers:

(film Nattevagten), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anais Evans ...
Leanne (as Anaïs Evans)
...
...
...
Newscaster
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James
...
...
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Old Watchman
Scott Burkholder ...
College Professor
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...
Guy in Pub
Alison Gale ...
Girl Friend of Guy in Pub
...
Pub Thug
Mongo Brownlee ...
Pub Thug (as Mongo)
...
Female Paramedic (as Candy Brown Houston)
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Storyline

A law student takes a job as the night-watchman in a morgue, thinking that he will have much time to study, with his biggest problem being his paranoia in this scary setting. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose and the student ends up getting mixed up with one of the murders, becoming a suspect. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the mind of the police, he's the prime suspect. In the eyes of a killer, he's the next victim. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong, morbid violence, language, sexuality, and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La sombra de la noche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$585,733 (USA) (17 April 1998)

Gross:

$1,200,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally Ole Bornedal wanted Harrison Ford to play the part of Inspector Thomas Albert Cray. See more »

Quotes

Inspector Thomas Cray: Martin, if all this is what I think it is, there is someone very dangerous standing right behind you in the dark, breathing down your neck.
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Connections

Referenced in Paris-Manhattan (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Menuet - Op 13
Written by Luigi Boccherini
Performed by London Symphony Orchestra (as The London Symphony Orchestra)
Don Jackson, conducter
Courtesy of Iliad, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sporadically enjoyable thriller which can't live up to its premise
7 April 2007 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

Student Ewan McGregor gets himself a part time job in a morgue, he presumes this will give him some quiet time as he studies for his degree. However, in this morgue the dead don't rest easy- it would appear that a serial killer who also indulges in necrophilia is making occasional visits. Could this just be paranoia on McGregor's part? It would appear not as he soon becomes chief suspect...

This promising premise is let down, in part, through the unsure direction of Ole Bornedal. The film begins in a vein not dissimilar to that of Se7en and seems to be setting up for a serial killer/thriller style. This soon changes to an approach more suited to teen slashers and then switches to a horror style before seeming to flick between them at will. This mix doesn't gel well at all and leaves the film feeling a little lost at times.

Josh Brolin who plays Ewan McGregor's friend in the film plays a character you feel like you have seen a hundred times before in teen slashers: plays by his own rules, pretty unlikeable but has his good side and you have your suspicions about him by the first scene. Ewan McGregor gets the paranoia spot on but is by and large quite forgettable, the same could be aimed at Patricia Arquette.

For its faults, there is still enough on offer to merit a watch. The scenes which take a more horror style approach work very well in the morgue and do give quite a tense atmosphere at times. Also, Nick Nolte turns in an eye-catching and enjoyable performance despite playing a role which you feel he could do in his sleep (he's playing a gruff detective). And Brad Dourif is perfectly cast as the creepy duty doctor, his knowing performance raises a smile.

The film has enough to keep you watching to its conclusion but will leave you disappointed at not being able to fully deliver on what could've been a very affecting thriller.


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