Night Falls on Night Falls
"Following in the tradition of voices like David Lynch, Stephen King, and HP Lovecraft. Night Falls on Night Falls is a reimagining of the timeless narrative archetype of an idyllic small town with a dark secret."
Notice any familiar footage here?
This is a fictional film trailer I hodgepodged together out of repurposed old footage from various other projects for a trailer contest with Canon's Project Imagination. The concept is based loosely off a short film we've had in the works for a little while and an old music video brainstorming session with a certain masked musician.
Night Falls has become, for SNEAKYBOY, an aesthetic codeword for the one parts coziness and one parts spookiness of the aforementioned small town + dark secret trope that shows up in virtually every storytelling medium over the last century.
Settings in these works are often titular and frequently contain a prefix or suffix denoting the proximity of a certain geographical feature (most commonly a body of water); water in this case representing a universal fear archetype. They trend towards the Northeastern or Pacific Northwestern United States but can be found elsewhere as well.
Some notable examples include: The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Twin Peaks, Wayward Pines, Limetown, "Point Pleasant" in The Mothman Prophesies, "Midlesex" in Donnie Darko, "Nightvale" in Welcome To Nightvale, "Mystic Falls" in The Vampire Diaries, Hemlock Grove, Banshee, "Woodbury" in The Walking Dead, "Lakeside" in American Gods, "Laketop" in Top of The Lake, "Bright Falls" in Alan Wake, "Devil's Kettle Falls" in Jennifer's Body, "Rockwell Falls" in Population 436, "Arcadia Bay" in Life Is Strange, "Specter" in Big Fish, and even Gravity Falls on Cartoon Network.
On a psychological level I believe it is in part an expression of the feeling of growing up a big fish in a little pond; suburban ennui always a central theme. Rural flight and the influx of formerly distributed populations into denser areas has been a feature of American culture since the close of the 19th century. Most manifestations of the trope usually find a protagonist unable to escape his or her setting because of some mystical or supernatural force. However anybody who's grown up in a place like this knows it doesn't take magic to make getting out of your hometown a struggle.
Secondarily, this trope is a mainstay of magical realism. It explores an overlay of mysticism on an otherwise pedestrian reality that should feel close to home, sometimes disquietingly so.
For us this became Night Falls on Night Falls, a treatment we've toyed with the idea of shooting for a while in the town of Frisco, CO, nestled between a backdrop of impassable mountains and the tiny forested islands of the Dillon Reservoir.
I've even created a Spotify playlist of songs that conjure that cozy-spooky Night Falls feeling.