Title: Night Film
Author: Marisha Pessl
Publisher: Windmill Books
Published: January 2014
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Horror, Adult.
Goodreads rating: 3.78
Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.
On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a severely cursed dynasty.
For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, curiosity and a need for the truth, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid.
The last time McGrath got close to exposing Cordova, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his grip on reality.
ONCE WE FACE OUR DEEPEST FEARS, WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE?
My Rating and General Opinion
Whoa! Just whoa. I’ve never read anything like this before. Yes it wasn’t perfection but it drove me crazy and paranoid at times like I don’t even know what. I feel like another character in a Cordova motion picture, because this in fact turned out to be a Night Film. Marisha Pessl played with my head the same way The Man himself did, and for that she deserves a big round of applause!
The writing was on point. Not surprising, but giving that this was my first encounter with Pessl I wasn’t that sure it was going to turn this good. It kept me gripped to page from line one. This novel wasn’t written in your typical standard format. It had a lot of bonus material like web & print articles, quite creepy & very realistic pictures and audio files attached to it via an actual app (although here the app wouldn’t work, there were still links to the content on its web page). With all of that this was a really entertaining story in which I can only imagine how much work went into!
Is was completely subjective, which only helped create this atmosphere of who knows? , where even a skeptical (like Scott himself) would fall through the rabbit hole of all of these conspiracies. You really do feel the darkness that her words imply. A darkness that flows all around and chills the core of your being.
In this story we follow a disgraced journalist in the adventure of a lifetime. Scott McGrath, long time obsessed with the film director Cordova, decides to give himself another chance to try to uncover this man’s true identity. In that ride he ends up meeting some interesting and also creepy people,his personal life goes through even some deeper shit and he ends up losing (or gaining) something more. Like you see by the synopsis, everything starts when Cordova’s daughter Ashley is found dead (presumed suicide) on day. This only lights up the bulb in Scott’s mind and pushes him to finally decide that no one will stop him, not this time.
This is not your typical mystery solving novel, tainted by a thrillery atmosphere. No, this is a whole another story, with the mystery about Ashley in itself not being the main focus, but just another character.
The plot of this story… well that was a good one! It had a lot of twists and turns and a constant flow of information that at times did leave you questioning yourself and what was really going on. I do think that was done on purpose, because like I’ve already mentioned countless times, the purpose of this book is to question everything about everything (and not only relating to the book in itself).
It was a very long story that at times moves slower than it should and that also introduced us to such a varied soup of characters that our minds might be overcharged at times. After all, Pessl tried to pile up decades long archives and stories into mere pages, so I understand it.
Ending it short, because with a story like this one I think the less you know, the more you will enjoy it!! 😉
This story deals with a character known as Cordova, whom for some reason unknown I pictured as Kubrick (you know who I am talking about right?), he did have some subtle vibe like this man. Although this story surrounds and evolves around this person our main character is the journalist who has a vicious obsession with him.
I am talking about Scott McGrath. I liked his character enough, but like a proper human being he was, there were times I didn’t approve of what he was doing and wanted to simply kick some sense into him. Funny thing is, we ended moving in completely different directions. We both being skeptics and believers at the same time, we ended up being completely unsynchronized in our believes at certain points. This man is the force and soul (not counting Cordova’s) of this story and the friends and enemies he does during his mission are seen like mere peons that help this story move along and unravel in some incredible ways.
Nora and Hopper play a strategical part. On her part Nora, starts like a bit of a brat with some mysticism tendencies. After all she didn’t grow up in a normal environment, which forced her to get ahead of herself and turn into quite a unique human being. Hopper on his part, an apparent rebel, free-spirited and sad/depression-ridden character evolves into the man he should have been and ends up finding a peace of mind I wish I had.
I wouldn’t recommend this for the weak hearted… It’s not explicitly horror, but this book has a unique psychological thriller vibe that will get to you in some profound levels, so you’ve been warned! 😉
Not everything is what it looks like. Not everyone is who you think. Don't trust your own eyes. Just, keep walking. Sincerely, Matx.