Intense home invasion thriller Survive the Night finds screen legend Bruce Willis (Die Hard franchise) back in the action and taking up arms against a pair of dangerous criminals who have invaded his home. Willis does what he does best playing tough-as-nails retired Sheriff Frank, who’s taken hostage, along with his daughter-in-law and grandchild, when a violent criminal demands emergency treatment for his mortally injured partner from Frank’s doctor son Rich (Chad Michael Murray, One Tree Hill, Riverdale). With lives on the line and the morning fast approaching it’s up to the father and son team to turn the tables on their attackers in order to survive the night…
To celebrate the film’s release on Digital Download 20 July and DVD 27 July director Matt Eskandari has taken us through some of his favourite movies featuring Survive the Night star Bruce Willis.
THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997)
Obviously when you look at Bruce Willis’ filmography, he’s done every genre and every possible collaboration. He’s worked with Michael Bay, Quentin Tarantino, Terry Gilliam. Before I worked with him, I almost didn’t want to look back at his old films because you get intimidated, you’re like ‘Jesus Christ, he’s worked with every A-list director you can imagine’. But the Top Five for me, in no particular order, starts with The Fifth Element. I love The Fifth Element, it’s such a classic 1990s action sci-fi, it just screams 90s to me. It’s just so unique and different as a sci-fi film, it’s got such a quirky tone to it. Bruce plays a super interesting character in the film. It’s got crazy, awesome visuals, and everything about The Fifth Element is just so memorable. Something like that could never get made today in Hollywood because it’s a $100 million dollar sci-fi movie that isn’t based on anything… it’s just so cool.
DIE HARD (1988)
Die Hard is just so iconic. It spawned basically an entire genre of ‘Die Hard set in a whatever’ and I love Bruce’s character in that it is just so Bruce! He’s distilled the perfect everyman and bad-ass hero – John McClane is the relatable bad-ass action hero! He wasn’t the Schwarzzeneger or the Stallone who’s an unstoppable killing machine, in Die Hard John McClane cuts his leg, he’s bloody, he’s screaming. You really see him go through the wringer. I could talk about this movie forever but it’s just the perfect action movie and it spawned some incredible films.
THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)
The next film would probably be The Sixth Sense. I’m a huge fan of M. Night Shyamalan and to me the film is a perfect suspense thriller. You see Bruce play a character that is completely different from what he would normally play. It was just so fascinating. His performance in The Sixth Sense was so subdued and so memorable. The way he played the character and the build-up of the tension… I still think it is M. Night Shyamalan’s best film. You can’t deny how good it is – it’s just a perfectly constructed suspense thriller.
IN COUNTRY (1989)
Next up is a completely obscure film that Bruce did. It’s from 1989 and it’s called In Country. It’s about a Vietnam veteran who’s dealing with the aftermath of the conflict, and who’s suffering from PTSD. It’s a smaller film. It’s really fascinating to see how Bruce took on something that is completely out of his wheelhouse but I honestly think it may be the best performance of his career, and nobody talks about it because it was a really small film in 1989, but it’s an incredible movie. It’s almost like a play and Bruce just brings it 110%. I just love it. If you look at the behind the scenes videos about it, he says that he really liked doing the intimate characters. I suggest everyone check this out!
THE JACKAL (1997)
The last one would be The Jackal, which again not so many people have heard of but it also stars Richard Gere. It’s an action-thriller from the 1990s’ and Bruce plays a very quirky interesting character. I don’t want to spoil too much about it but it’s a super cool 90s action thriller that I really recommend, and everyone should definitely check that out as well.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS: PULP FICTION AND ARMAGEDDON
It was tough to do a top five, so I have a couple of honourable mentions. I really wanted to mention Pulp Fiction but I see that more as a Tarantino movie than Bruce movie. And obviously Armageddon. I was debating about putting that in as well but I feel like everyone has seen that movie and it’s more of a Ben Affleck/Bruce Willis movie.
Survive the Night is on Digital Download 20 July & DVD 27 July from Lionsgate UK