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MIDNIGHT MOVIE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jack Messitt

Starring:
Rebekah Brandes
Daniel Bonjour
Mandell Maughan

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A dude made a scary movie a long time ago. Apparently, it was his vehicle to display his love of scaring people. Unfortunately he also went crazy and was committed to a hospital, because of his obsession with the film. One day he is forced to watch it again as a part of his treatment. He kills himself and apparently everyone in the hospital. Now a theatre full of 7 teenagers, a biker couple, a detective and a doctor are watching this midnight movie for the first time in ages. Could the killer be on his way back for more?
Is it good movie?
I had heard of this bad boy from a few friends and through a bit of buzz on the internet. Now that I've watched it, it sort of reminds of a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Demons. Midnight Movieadds up to be a pretty entertaining little bloodbath, but it requires you to check your brain at the door.

First of all, this movie is self-aware and knows that it won't be an Oscar winner. The idea is that an insane psychopath is returning to kill people who are watching his film for the first time in years. We have pretty stereotypical (and disposable) teens- the jerk, the damaged heroine and her sneaky underage brother, her sweet boyfriend, the movie nerd, and the gruff biker couple. The whole thing is pretty solid from the outset, and sets a pretty brutal pace to begin as a character rips flesh from his or her wrist.

The movie cruises along at a brisk pace, although at 80 minutes the whole thing did seem a bit overlong. The killer himself looks slightly less stupid than Leslie Vernon did, with a sort of creepy skull mask. My other gripe with the killer was his weapon of choice, a nasty looking hand-drill sort of thing. The thing looked scary, but really it would have been a laborious and implausible weapon to dispatch people. It would really take awhile to drill that into someone, but our killer doesn't have much problem with it.

My other problem with the movie is pretty large and is what really stopped me from loving it (Warning: potential MINOR SPOILER ALERT). I know that I might catch flak for this, but I really didn't like the way that the movie was completely supernatural. The film sets itself up to be a 'cops are trying to catch the escaped old psychopath who will likely come back to the only place screening his film' sort of movie, which I thought was plausible and entertaining. Unfortunately the film quickly establishes that it is a ghost story, as the film that the kids are watching on the screen quickly shifts to the killer's point of view in the theatre as he murders their friends. That really got on my nerves because I didn't think it was necessary and made the movie feel like an R-Rated episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark (remember that badass Nosferatu episode?). The whole TCM flashback movie is pretty good, until people start becoming a part of it.

There comes a point when help is seemingly available, but no one can get a cell phone working and when the cops do come, the people can't see each other. That really drove me insane and nothing ever gets explained, all these mysteries are just left to the imagination. Again, some people might like that but it got on my nerves. I just felt like the whole thing was good enough to be a bit more realistic.

With that being said, I was along for the ride with Midnight Movieand I was entertained by it. The kills are plentiful and the gore splatters the screen with reckless abandon. Although the weapon is sort of stupid, the killer really puts it to good use- one of my favorite kills involves two birds with one stone (I'll leave it at that). The acting is pretty decent- the biker, Harley (Stan Ellsworth) and the heroine (the ungodly gorgeous Rebekah Brandes) are at the top of the heap here, really adding some character to this one. With that being said, the kid brother Timmy (Justin Baric) is awful. The kid couldn't deliver a line if his life depended on it.

Flaws aside, this one is way more good than bad. It's a bloody ride that will likely accomplish its purpose- to have your girlfriend say 'Oooh, that's gross" and grab your arm rather tightly. The cast is game and the movie seems to be made with love. I recommend it.
Video / Audio
The Extras
Last Call
At the end of the day, Midnight Moviemakes the most of its premise and despite my preferences, remains quite well done. The ending is sort of hard to swallow and not all of the performances are right on, but I have not seen a better low budget film for quite some time. Also, dig the way the end credits scrolled!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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