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REZENSION: Night Film by Marisha Pessl


author: Marissa Pessl
title: Night Film
publisher: Windmill Books | Fischer 
publication date: July 1st, 2014

On a damp October night the body of beautiful Ashley Cordova is discovered in a Manhattan warehouse. Though her death is ruled a suicide, investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. The last time McGrath got too close to the Cordova dynasty, he lost his marriage and his career. This time he could lose his mind.


Night Film opens with a great prologue; a prologue that actually stays in mind and gives you goosebumps. Those opening pages consist of so much authentic creepiness I couldn’t not keep turning the pages to find out more about Hollywoods legendary diretor, Stanislav Cordova.

I really liked the concept of the story. I liked the way Marisha Pessl presented her story through websites, articles and photos. Photos that – at times – actually creeped the hell out of me. Especially those pictures were very surreal and scary and when I started reading I actually searched Google to find out if Stanislav Cordova was a real person. Everything in this book seemed so real I really thought that he and his family really existed; that all of this kind of happend in real life and that Marisha Pessl was just so fascinated by him and his life that she turned his life into a creepy story. But Google proved me wrong. Stanislav Cordova isn’t real neither are his movies. Marissa Pessl manages to intrigue the reader, to lure him and to make him wanna read more and more and more. But that was just at the beginning of the book.

Throughout the story, after the first few chapters, the main characters basically just went from witness to witness to find out more about the Death of Cordovas lovely daughter. So it was more like a detectiv investigation. It wasn’t really that much of a thriller, at least it wasn’t what I usually expect from a thriller. Also most of the characters were pretty flat and boring and they all seemd so alike, like there was nothing special about any of them. Nothing unique, nothing that made me think that I could totally relate to them or that I could feel them or that they seemed like real persons.

While I kept reading I got kind of bored, I have to admit. It was just so lengthy and some things were just needless and could have been left out for my liking. It took me almost two months to finish this book. So when I put the book down, I realized that I wasn’t blown away by the actual plot or the characters or the ending. The only feeling I was left with was the desire to watch a Cordova movie. I mean, that’s something that was really good; the author retelling the movies and imagining what kind of movies he made gave me goosebumps. I would love to see such a movie even though I would also be very scared to watch it.

The plot is one long treasure hunt and from time to time it was just boring. I kind of liked the main characters, I liked Scott okay and well Nora was the most interesting character I think and Hopper, yeah well, he was kind of weird but still interesting.

When they found out more about her death, that there might have been more behind all that than just a girl who committed suicide because her life was hard. That was a part of the book that really freaked me out. So I was pretty disappointed by the end because it wasn’t really what I’ve expected or what I wished for. The book just doesn’t give you the right answer. What it gives you are multiple answers to one question and Marisha Pessl just leaves you to speculate which one is the correct answer, if there even is one. Even though we got an answer or more than one, it kind of feels like it was an open ending.

I’m not sure if I would recommend Night Film. I mean it’s a good book and the concept is great and all the graphics the author used to give the story that certain something are amazing but it didn’t hit me as I thought or wished it would. It wasn’t mind blowing; it was thrilling from time to time but also just as boring some other time. But the book is worth an experience and maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s an awesome book and I just couldn’t see it.


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