Midnight Movie – 5
Director – Jack Messitt
Cast – Rebekah Brandes, Daniel Bonjour, Greg Cirulnick, Mandell Maughan, Stan Ellsworth, Melissa Steach, Jon Briddell, Michael Swan, Michael Schwartz, Justin Baric, Brea Grant, Shaun Ausmus
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
Well it is that time again where I watch a film for the sole purpose of getting it off of my film queue after being passed over for months, and the newest film to suffer such demise is Midnight Movie. While I had never seen a trailer for this piece I always assumed it was a low-budget mess with a decent premise but execution that results in nothing, but that was not exactly the case. The film is not great and not one that I would outrightly recommend but it was not as bad as I expected it to be, and that is always something I take joy in.
When a group of patrons pay a measly dollar to see a midnight showing of an early 70′s horror film their night of cheesy fun turns into a night of chaos when the killer from the movie leaps from the film to kill them off one by one.
I always find joy and interest in a film where we watch people watching a movie, whether it be at home or on the big screen. Much like Popcorn, we watch movie patrons being killed off by a killer who may or may not have something to do with the film being shown, and while this was nowhere near as good as Popcorn it was not a truly bad watch in the end. The story starts off well with an awesome opening sequence and the first act runs as it should with the introduction of the protagonists (the “biker guy” is my favorite) and their anticipation of watching a cult film on the silver screen. It does not take long for the first kills to occur, with the person being killed in the theater but the kill occurring on the big screen for the audience to enjoy…until they eventually recognize the people being killed. The kills initially occur offscreen, which had me worried given I knew the film wouldn’t have much more to offer than “the goods”, but eventually the kills were given to us in full-frontal fashion and with a unique killing device as well. Midnight Movie is definitely not a film for those who want to see moving locations as the entire flick takes place in the lowly movie theater. With the killer able to jump from the screen to the theater at will it makes him a very hard target to kill, especially when the police detective in the theater makes us aware the killer is also bulletproof. I personally did not love this killer but I did not dislike him either, I just thought that he was written a bit silly at times given he had numerous supernatural powers but could only kill those who feared him. Also, the dialogue was bad at times, but not a deal breaker.
Director Jack Messitt did an OK job with this piece, focusing on the quality of his kills as the film’s biggest selling point. With the kills slowly growing in gore severity I did enjoy his kill sequences and the live-action gore that adorned them. The rest of his execution was so-so, with decent acting performances and sets that could have been better and should have made us feel more like we were part of the movie theater experience. His execution of the killer was also nothing special, with mediocre mannerisms and a look that could have been creepier, but he managed to deliver the goods with a unique device so I’ll give him a little bit of credit for that. In the end Messitt did not improve on the story or make this film good, he just made it bearable.
Overall, Midnight Movie is not a flick I would recommend but it was not a complete waste of my time. It has a few positives and even more negatives, but I found enough joy in the positives to not hate it, but I’ll pass this over next time.