‘Night’s End’ is a Chicago-made horror film from Jennifer Reeder and Brett Neveu — it streams in March on Shudder

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

“Night’s End,” screenwriter and longtime Chicago playwright Brett Neveu’s tale of a dicey exorcism performed in a classic Chicago two-flat, makes its streaming premiere March 31 on Shudder, the horror, thriller and supernatural streaming service of AMC Networks.

The director is Jennifer Reeder, an increasingly prominent filmmaker (Bong Joon-Ho, the Oscar winner for “Parasite,” singled her out for praise) and professor in the Moving Image department at University of Illinois-Chicago. She’s a recent contributor to the Shudder-distributed horror anthology “V/H/S/94.”

Neveu also produced the film, alongside Neal Edelstein (”The Ring,” “Mulholland Drive”) and David E. Tolchinsky. Neveu and Tolchinsky teach at Northwestern University’s Department of Radio, Television and Film.

The small-cast, single-location chiller features Geno Walker (”South Side,” “Chicago Fire”) as an agoraphobe whose isolated life gets thrown for a loop when he learns his new apartment is haunted. He gets the idea to film an exorcism, with an eye toward making some much-needed cash off its viral online possibilities.

Others in the cast: Kate Arrington and Michael Shannon, both stalwarts of the Chicago theater scene. Shannon and Neveu have collaborated often over the years at A Red Orchid Theatre in Old Town. The cast also includes Felonious Munk, of “For Life” and “Block Party.”

“We were just so antsy to make something,” Reeder said Thursday of the Chicago project, filmed in 13 days under strict COVID regulations last July. Reeder brought the script to Shudder. The streaming service green-lit an overall budget of just under $500,000. Filming took place in the Avondale neighborhood.

“Night’s End” grew out of a short film idea. Back in 2020, “I pitched the story to my daughter; she was 13 at the time,” Neveu said Thursday. Neveu was thinking it’d be fun to do a little father/daughter horror experiment at home, just to while away a few hours in what was then the early stages of the pandemic.

She reconsidered, ultimately, but Neveu ended up writing a feature-length script and brought it to Reeder. The filmmaker’s earlier features, she said, were more “genre-adjacent” than full-on thrillers or horror films. Though “Night’s End” is filtered through Neveu’s eccentric dark humor (he notes that Shannon, in a supporting role, is “really funny”), it’s more straightforwardly creepy per the dictates of the horror genre. Plus, it’s quick: roughly 80 minutes.

“Jennifer has such a strong vision and an amazing eye,” Neveu says. “And it all happened so fast, in about a year and a half, from writing to shooting to streaming on Shudder March 31.”

Michael Phillips is a Tribune critic.


Twitter @phillipstribune

Big screen or home stream, takeout or dine-in, Tribune writers are here to steer you toward your next great experience. Sign up for your free weekly Eat. Watch. Do. newsletter here.