The Night Listener
The creepy true story and eerie shenanigans that apparently took place on the set stemming from
that story end up being more engaging asides than the film itself turned out to be. Slow-burning as they come, it has shades of old-fashioned suspense movie flair, utilizing some traditional Hitchcock techniques like always playing on the viewer’s perception of characters and their motives to keep you guessing this way and that a la Suspicion. But ultimately that defined sharpness on the part of director Patrick Stettner is dulled by an unnecessarily formulated ending which robs the finale of that ambiguous buttoner that probably would’ve benefitted the movie in the long run. If it had ended about two minutes earlier, I’d bump it up a point, but honestly, aside from another of Robin Williams’s welcome dramatic performances, the movie is just there
most of the time and never really comes alive in any way but its atmospherics, and that only goes so far.