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  • I wasn't expecting a lot from this after finding the tape at a thrift store for a dollar, and reading the ratings here before watching. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how well crafted this tale of a haunted Jaguar was, and it reminded me very much of the great 1970s British series of features broadcast by BBC under the title of Thriller. The US release title of Dark of the Night is a bit more appropriate than Mr Wrong.

    Though filmed in New Zealand in around 1984, it has the look and feel of something done 10 years earlier, and is not at all like a 1980s horror film. It also has nice character development and a well-handled plot with a subtle musical score. Some might feel it is a bit slow, but that is more an effect of a comparison to modern terror films that are quick-cut and horror-action vehicles with teens being slaughtered, and with relatively little in the way of development of character.

    This film does not stereotype it's players, and give full dimension to as many characters as possible. The one fault it has is a lack of substance in regards to the one who we learn is the killer. But even with this shortcoming, I'd still give high recommendations.
  • Frumpy redhead Meg (Heather Bolton) is a single Plain Jane who purchases a used Jaguar while visiting her mother and, on her way back home, encounters both a strange hitchhiker (David Letch) and the ghost of the car's former owner, a young woman who was brutally murdered inside that very vehicle. Initially frightened of the ghostly car, it eventually helps her fend off the hitchhiker when he shows up looking for her. Director, co-scripter and co-producer Gaylene Preston keeps her film entertaining from start to finish and there's a unique feminist stamp on this atypical ghost story that gives it an edge over other similar films. Though slow moving, this adaptation of a story by Elizabeth Jane Howard (originally titled MR. WRONG) has some eerie moments, suspense and thoughtful dialogue, and it's all anchored by a winning performance from Bolton, who's a refreshingly non-Hollywood type of leading lady.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sensible, independent, down-to-earth young single woman Meg (the reasonably pretty, but rather plain and refreshingly unglamorous redhead Heather Bolton) purchases a used Jaguar Mark IV automobile that's haunted by the unrestful spirit (expressively played to eerily mute perfection by the lovely Perry Piercy) of the previous owner who was murdered in it. A mysterious man (handsome, quietly menacing David Letch) who might be the killer begins to stalk Meg. Capably directed in an effectively clean, spare, very low-key and no-frills style by Gaylene Preston, carefully scripted by Preston, Geoff Murphy and Graeme Tetley, nicely shot by Thom Burstyn and further graced with a beautifully classy and elegant orchestral score by Jonathan Crayford, this pleasingly subtle and understated supernatural horror mystery thriller weaves a highly spooky and unnerving spell on the viewer, slowly unraveling its tricky story at an admirably stately and unhurried pace while also neatly managing to avoid a standard cut'n'dried narrative trajectory. Furthermore, Preston gives the fantastic premise a semblance of believability by grounding said far-fetched tale in a plausibly banal and unremarkable evocation of grindingly drab and mundane day-to-day reality. With her spunky persona and attractively dumpy looks, Bolton makes for an extremely credible and appealing everywoman in distress. The conclusion is a genuinely harrowing white-knuckle nail-biter. A real sleeper.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I love this movie and I am lucky to have picked it up on VHS a few years back. Mr Wrong tells the story of Meg who buys a second hand Jag only to find out that it is haunted. Worse still, it turns out that there is a serial killer after her as well. Mr Wrong is a great movie that never gets bogged down or boring. The film flows quite nicely, there is good character development and the characters themselves are wholly likeable and engaging. The ending is completely satisfying and does not leave loose ends dangling like so many horror and thriller movies do these days. All up, I would recommend this film to anyone that likes good horrors and thrillers.
  • This movie probably looked a lot better in 1985, when it came out. By modern standards, it's a little too light and too slow for a horror movie, a little too mild and obvious for suspense, and not quite quirky enough as pure film.

    That said, it's not badly made. Nicely filmed, with decent performances, and both a truly beautiful vintage Jaguar and truly beautiful New Zealand scenery. The story cleverly combines and twists a few urban legends and ghost stories which -- through no fault of the filmmakers -- have become cliches by now. Again, they would have seemed much fresher in 1985.

    The twist ending is pretty clever, although it's foreshadowed a little too broadly. For a small-budget suspense/horror film, it all adds up to 'not bad', but not fantastic either. I'd say that it has the feeling of a made-for-TV film.

    What's strange about this movie -- released in the US on video as "Dark of the Night", for some reason -- is that the box boasted half a dozen strong reviews, from "Playboy" and the Village Voice among other sources. It's worth a rental if you like gentler suspense films (no gore in this one) or are a particular fan of 80's and/or New Zealand horror films.
  • In a stroke for independence, a young woman buys a car for a road- trip to see her parents only for the car's increasingly odd and creepy behavior to lead her to find out the truth about its strange past and when she learns the dark secret tries to keep it from controlling her.

    This was quite the fun and somewhat enjoyable effort. One of the more fruitful areas with this one is the fact that it does engage in quite a lot of really appealing work to convince the car's actually haunted. The fact that it's completely innocuous looking on the outside makes the events that happen in the car all the more frightening, with the strange eerie moaning and the gasping noises from the backseat despite her being the only one in the car, the continuous incidents that she believes have played out yet no one else can corroborate her story or the way it won't leave her alone to carry on her life and keeps dragging her back into the fray makes for some creepy times here. The way this continues on throughout here, from the different points of her breaking insanity due to her false hysterics freaking out over incidents everyone laughs off afterward to the great action presented at the back-end which features her going through the last trick to get them out of the car out on the highway that gives this a solid, action-packed finale. Now, there are a few flaws to be found here. The film's biggest problem is that it isn't really all that well-versed in offering plenty of jump-scares or even features a lot of suspenseful moments here, content to play to the slow-burn as it features her going insane over what the cars' actually doing to her rather than featuring the ghostly actions driving this along. The film really seems to slow down once she gets to the town and visits her family, which really doesn't have much in the way of action that generates any kind of excitement in what's happening. The middle section here ends being so slowly paced that it doesn't really feature any kind of action as it's basically more about her pleading with others to believe her stories and going around to investigate the past that it doesn't feature any kind of ghostly actions at all, and some of the activity featured isn't all that creepy anyway. The idea that the film consists a lot more on her behavior twists at that point onward so it doesn't get any kind of impressive chills out of the scenes with the way it takes rather bland setups as supposedly creepy and can make this one drag during these parts so it does have some problems to point out.

    Rated R: Violence and Language.
  • A woman named Meg buys a beautiful jaguar for her upcoming road trip to her parents house. Once the sale is complete, she hits the open road. But late at night while she's stopped on the side of the road, something strange happens. She hears what sounds like a woman gasping for air in the backseat. She turns the car light on and it stops. Then when she turns the light off, the sound comes back. Meg brushes the incident off and goes to her parents. While on the way home, she picks up two hitchhikers - a man and a woman. After a while on the road, the female hitchhiker in the backseat disappears and the man says there never was a woman back there.

    The woman she saw was Mary Carmichael, a woman who was believed to have been murdered years ago. We also discover that Mary used to own the jaguar up to the time of her death. Meg believes the car must be haunted, so she decides to sell it. A few days later, she sees the male hitchhiker all around town glaring at her. Is the car really haunted or is Meg losing touch with reality? And who is the man stalking her all around town? All are answered in an explosive ending.

    I thought this New Zealand flick was a very good suspense thriller! The scenes with the hitchhiker that disappears from her car is VERY unsettling. There are many more moments like that throughout the movie. The beginning is very well done. The middle frame is a little slow and drags a bit, but towards the end of the film it really picks up. Almost impossible to find on DVD or VHS, but if you can - check it out for sure.

    7/10
  • BaronBl00d30 December 2004
    New Zealander Heather Bolton buys a jaguar from a car lot, takes a long drive home to see the folks, and on her return trip sees a strange woman(who she had already seen in a dream) get in her back seat...then a man gets in the passenger seat. She stops car for gas, man gets out, and she drives back home. She works, gets some roses, realizes car belonged to a woman that disappeared mysteriously, and then for an interminable amount of time - tries to sell her car. But what happens...the door won't open when buyers try to look at it. And that, except for the rather tame and lame denouement, is the height of suspense for this literal "sleeper" from New Zealand. Rather than saying I laughed, I cried, and I ran the whole gambit of emotions, I can say with honest frankness, I stretched, I sighed, and I yawned...repeatedly! Who would have thought life with a jaguar could be this boring and dull. A real snooze-fest!