There’s a brand new movie monster heading your way. He’s called The Midnight Man and he’ll be invading your homes on Video On Demand this week in a movie by the same name!
It all begins in the 1950s when a group of young friends play a game that invokes the titular character. It’s a dangerous game and one by one they die by not following the rules.
When only one is left, it seems the game is over and a young girl named Anna is finally safe.
But we’re horror fans and we know better than that, right?
Moving forward in time we find that Anna still lives in the same home, and is succumbing to dementia. Her granddaughter, Alex, has come to stay with her, and late one night the girl discovers the rules for the game in the attic.
Naturally, she and her friends decide to play.
The film, though problematic at times, is quite entertaining and has genuinely scary moments largely thanks to Lin Shaye’s performance as the older Anna and Kyle Strauts in the role of the monstrous Midnight Man who uses your own fears to kill you.
Shaye never brings less than her A-game and she uses her considerable talent to own the role of Anna. She is vulnerable, sad, menacing, and terrifying at once as she weaves in and out of her haze of supposed dementia.
Kyle Strauts fully embodies the Midnight Man sweeping in and out of the darkness with murderous gusto. His 6’9″ presence is enhanced by the the makeup designs by Doug Morrow and his team.
Speaking of darkness…it’s a sad thing when technical decisions end up detracting from rather than enhancing a film. The Midnight Man unfortunately suffers at the hands of its cinematographer, Gavin Kelly, with many scenes so dark it was hard to see facial expressions or distinguish details onscreen.
Likewise, the film’s editing which was uneven at best, led to pacing problems especially toward the climax of the film which made Robert Englund’s arrival, to warn that perhaps Anna isn’t suffering from dementia after all, a welcome boon.
It was good to see Englund and Shaye together again. They last co-starred in 2005’s remake of 2001 Maniacs, and their chemistry onscreen is horror perfection.
Englund brings a stage showman’s polished dramatics to the screen providing a balance to Shaye’s more raw and primal performance. It’s a standoff worthy of the early Universal monster movies, and one of the best moments in the film.
Gabrielle Haugh, Emily Haine, and Grayson Gabriel fill the roles of the Alex and her friends Kelly and Miles, respectively. Of the three, only Grayson Gabriel really seems to commit fully to his role making Miles the most believable and likable of the three.
Technical problems aside The Midnight Man is a fun flick worth a watch to see the fine performances from some of the genre’s finest actors.
Keep your eyes peeled for The Midnight Man on Video on Demand from IFC Releasing on January 22, 2018. Check out the trailer below!
Featured Image from IMDb.com