Private Project


Owen is out for a evening stroll when he encounters a young woman named Mercy who claims she is being followed by a strange man. Owen decides to walk Mercy home, thinking he can keep her safe. However, as the night goes on, it is revealed there is more to Mercy and this strange man than it seems.

  • Benjamin Schmidt
  • Benjamin Schmidt
  • Benjamin Schmidt
  • Victoria McFadden
    Key Cast
  • Matthew Weiland
    Key Cast
  • Jonathan Carpenter
    Key Cast
    "The Hunter"
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Horror, Thriller, Film Noir, Giallo
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 29 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 27, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    1,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Muscatine Independent Film Festival
    Muscatine, Iowa
    United States
    November 8, 2019
    Distinctive Achievement Award: Murder & Mayhem
  • Horror in the Valley
    Waterloo, Iowa
    United States
    October 30, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Benjamin Schmidt

Benjamin Schmidt was born on October 5, 1995 in Dubuque, Iowa and grew up in Bellevue, Iowa. At an early age, he developed an unshakable love for movies. After years of making amateur films with friends, Benjamin released 'Is It Snowing Where You Are' in 2017, a film inspired by his experiences after dropping out of college. He followed that film two years later with 'Nocturnal' and is planning to release his next film 'The Last Sleepover' in early 2020. Benjamin loves the challenges and satisfaction of DIY, independent filmmaking and hopes to self-finance and shoot his first feature in the next year.

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Director Statement

'Nocturnal" is an idea I have had floating around in my head for nearly a decade, but was always hesitant about making. In retrospect, and I feel ashamed to admit this, I think I was worried no one would take me serious as a filmmaker if I made a horror movie. Despite loving the genre all my life, I felt many viewers and cinema lovers tend to turn their noses up to horror. When I finally ignored my pretensions and decided to finally make 'Nocturnal', I felt grossly unqualified. So I began to do my "research", essentially devouring every horror movie I came across. What I discovered was not only many classics and obscure gems, but the true value of horror as a genre. The truly great horror movies, in my opinion the likes of Psycho, Halloween, The Thing, The Shining, and The Witch just to name a few, are great because they utilize all the elements of filmmaking. Great direction to build suspense, cinematography and production design to set atmosphere, writing to establish characters we care about and want to see make it out alive, and music to make us feel unnerved. Essentially, I realized something I aways knew but could never admit, truly great horror requires total mastering of the language of cinema. I hope our film is a success in terms of using this language to tell its story. Although the road to completed film was long and bumpy, as is often the case when working with hardly any money, I am so proud of this cast and crew for seeing it through. At the end of the day, I hope when people watch 'Nocturnal' they are on the edge of their seat, are shocked at the twists, maybe just a little repulsed (in a fun way) at the gore, and leave the film wanting to see more. As for me, 'Nocturnal' will always be the film that helped me renew my love for horror and gave me an entirely new respect for it as a genre.