After Hours (1985) Directed by Martin Scorsese. With Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Verna Bloom, Teri Garr and Linda Fiorentino.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, but striking more of a resemblance to something from the mind of David Lynch, comes this surreal journey through one night in the life of New Yorker Paul Hackett (Dunne), who after a brief coffee shop encounter with an attractive young woman (Arquette) takes up the offer of a late night invite to her Soho apartment.
What follows is a series of bizarre events and oddball run-ins that conspire to lead Paul through possibly the worst night of his life. What’s clear is that director Martin Scorsese is having a tremendous amount of fun, almost as if the shackles are off and he’s allowing himself to enjoy the experimental process. The rain-swept, neon-lit, grimy streets of night-time New York are lovingly captured as our protagonist unwittingly stumbles from disaster to disaster in a way that could only happen in your worst nightmares.
Like being in a dream state, the film offers the possibility of any occurrence taking place at any given moment and thanks to an increasingly frantic display from Griffin Dunne, a sense of justifiable paranoia grows with every new unfolding. Paul’s initial aim of casual sex gradually becomes a desperate bid to escape the weird and not so wonderful people who inadvertently conspire to make him a prisoner for the night. Towards the end, things do tire a little but overall, After Hours plays like a crazy Scorsese trip to the Twilight Zone, fully intent on having a great time. 3.5/5