Director: Danis Goulet
Writer: Danis Goulet (Screenplay)
Starring: Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart, Alex Tarrant, Amanda Plummer, Shaun Sipos, Violet Nelson
Plot: A mother joins an underground band of vigilantes to try and rescue her daughter from a state-run institution.
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Night Raiders starts as we head into a future where the world has been in a war and children are kept in a state-run institution. Niska (Tailfeathers) has been raising her daughter Waseese (Letexier-Hart) off the grid, away from the scanners. When they find a scanner over their home, Niska must risk going into the city for help, seeing her daughter taken to the institution.
10-months-later Niska still regrets her choice, while adapting to the city, looking for a chance to save her daughter, while Waseese hasn’t fitted into the training programs. Niska gets to meet a group of vigilantes that have been trying to free children, little by little, which will see her join them in an attempt to rescue her daughter.
Thoughts on Night Raiders
Characters & Performances – Niska has been living off the radar with her daughter for years, but when her daughter gets injured, she is forced to let the institution take her. She is looking for a way to get her back, which will see her get the chance to work with the other vigilantes who have been saving children for years. She is desperate to make up for letting her child go and this is shown with how much she will risk to save her. Elle-Maija Tailfeathers is brilliant in this leading role, she keeps her character holding everything together in a world where letting emotions out will get her killed. Waseese is the daughter of Niska, she gets injured, which will see her needing to be taken to the institution, where she will learn more, but never fit in with the other children there. Brooklyn Letexier-Hart is great in her role too, which will see her doing a lot of isolation environments, never fitting in. when it comes to the rest of the characters, we get to meet the other survivors in the city, just trying to survive. The vigilantes living off the grid, looking to save the children the institution and the people running the institution, which is the one set of characters it would have been nice to learn more about.
Story – The story here follows a mother and daughter living in a world torn apart by war, where children are kept separate and trained, while the adults must find a way to survive. When the pair become separated, the mother will look to find a way to rescue her daughter from the institution she finds herself trapped in. This is a story that we might have seen certain points before, it has the journey the mother must make, after the difficult decision she must make. The idea the children are kept separate, did give us a mix of the dangers of Children of Men and the strictness of groups that the Hunger Games had where nobody could mix outside of their society. Most of the story does focus on the mother trying to save her daughter, not enough time is given to see what the institution is truly about, which ends up leaving us wanting to know more about the bigger picture going. Overall, the story does play out well though, filling the world with people that just want to be free.
Themes – Night Raiders is a dystopian sci-fi movie that will put us into a world where the world has changed, been taken apart by war and will show the small number of survivors needing to figure out how to survive against a group of military controlled people, holding the survivors to ransom. The world however big, does look broken, decaying and a place nobody would want to live, which is the strongest visual look behind the film.
Signature Entertainment presents Night Raiders on Digital Platforms 6th December
Final Thoughts – Night Raiders is a bleak filled world, waiting for the change for the hope of the characters.