They Cry By Night
All Films • 23-Apr-2020
Two visiting New Yorkers are forced to stay in New Mexico while a serial killer dressed as a leopard stalks the city. “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. Carlos and Antonia, a couple from New York, take an impromptu vacation to Sante Fe to visit their old friends, Kevin and Lea. But the trip derails when a travel lockdown is put in place due to a string of killings being pinned on indigenous revolutionaries. 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. Loosely based on Jacques Tourneur's 1943 horror film The Leopard Man > more on the origins of the project in our interview with Sheridan here. -KA. Director, DP, Editor: Wes Sheridan. Cast: Yani Monzón, Dustin Sammann, Leah Woodruff, Kevin Zansler, Lisa Cates.
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