Mom is visiting, in Czech horror tale She Came at Night

Mom is visiting, in Czech horror tale She Came at Night

– Tomáš Pavlíček and Jan Vejnar decided to reverse the usual rules of film production to create this title which combines darkroom comedy and thriller

This article is available in English.

Two Czech directors have decided to make a feature-length film by disregarding the usual industry standards. Tomas Pavlicek and Jan Vejnar opted to find an alternative route to shooting their collaborative effort, the black chamber comedy She Came at Night. “The desire to shoot films faster than the current system in the Czech Republic allows is what connects us. It can take three to five years, or sometimes much longer, before a filmmaker gathers the necessary funds to realize his or her work,” explains Vejnar. “However, [films on] some topics should, by their very nature, be created much more quickly. Otherwise, the director’s relationship with the material or topic in question, as well as the actual relevance, could get lost,” he says.

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Pavlíček and Vejnar, who have wrapped principal photography on their movie, started with the opposite approach. They hired DoP Simon Dvořáček and set a date for shooting, and decided to adapt everything else to this situation. Their inner circle of friends and family got on board as well. “The goal was to make a film whose plot and theme would fully justify the intimate setting and modest conditions under which it was created. From this point of view, the home-invasion thriller seemed to us to be a good starting point. The result, however, will be more varied in terms of genre, which is closer to a slightly darker comedy,” says Vejnar.

The central story revolves around a pair of thirtysomethings, Aneta and Jirka. They live in a flat that belongs to Jirka’s relatives. One night, Jirka’s mother appears at the door, announcing she has to stay for a few nights. She starts to slowly uncover the private life of the couple. “She Came at Night teeters on the edge of black comedy and home-invasion horror, based on a situation that everybody is familiar with,” states the synopsis. Said summary also asks provocative questions, such as: “Is mother always right?” and “Aren’t mothers sometimes the biggest monsters?”, giving a hint of the direction that the movie will take.

Emerging director Jan Vejnar came to prominence with his surreal short film extrastarring Denis Lavant, and his solo feature-length debut, head nurse, won the MIDPOINT Feature Launch Award in 2021 (see the news). For his part, Tomáš Pavlíček debuted with the Czech mumblecore comedy Totally Talking [+lire aussi :
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and he already has a sophomore feature under his belt, Bear with Us [+lire aussi :
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interview : Tomáš Pavlíček
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. Czech stage actress Simona Pekova stars in the role of the mother, with Annette Nesvadbova (Hany [+lire aussi :
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interview : Michal Samir
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) and Jiří Rendl (Borders of Love [+lire aussi :
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interview : Tomasz Wiński
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) taking on the roles of Aneta and Jirka. The cast also includes Vladimir Kratina (Statusyoue of Limitations – see the news), Slovak actress Judit Bardos (Plastic Symphony [+lire aussi :
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interview : Juraj Lehotský
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]
), Denisa Baresova (Shadow Country [+lire aussi :
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) and Michal Kern. Kern previously starred in the critically acclaimed chamber drama Arvedand he also enjoyed commercial success in the chamber dramady Owners [+lire aussi :
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while Occupation [+lire aussi :
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interview : Michal Nohejl
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]
garnered critical acclaim as well. Czech cinema certainly has a penchant for chamber films lately.

She Came did Night is being produced by Tomáš Pavlíček and Jan Vejnar, and is co-produced by Simon Dvořáček and Vit Schmarc (of distribution company Artcam Films). The film should enter Czech theatrical distribution in the second half of 2023.

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