Director(s) – Torey Haas, Tony Reames, Eric Davis, Jay Halloway, and Anissa Matlock,
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 4/5
A few years back I crossed paths with director Torey Haas. Haas had sent a press release to the general email at Horror Society. Another writer at the site posted it up and I checked it out. The poster, trailer, and still had me hooked. I loved the way it looked and I loved Haas’ style. I contacted him and kept close contact until the film was released. It was worth the wait. To this day I still mention this film to horror fans looking for something different to watch other than big budget trends.
Recently Haas reached out to me to review a new project he is apart of. Haas recently worked on the anthology horror film Dead by Midnight (11 pm Central). He went over the project and I was excited to check it out but before I told him I would he mentioned Erin Brown was apart of the film. Most of you know by this point that Misty Mundae is a weakness of mine. I couldn’t say yes fast enough by that point. Thank you Torey for reaching out to me.
**Spoiler Alert**The film begins with local access television studio who prepare to go off the air when they receive a call that a new film crew is working on a closed set nearby. They are instructed to broadcast the live show and are reluctant to do so but they do their job. The broadcast follows horror host Mistress of Midnight who takes the viewer, and the staff, down several horror tales with each tale involving one of the staff members in each segment.**Spoiler Alert**
I knew Haas and company wasn’t going to let me down. This is the type of horror anthology that makes me excited for late night movie marathons. Each segment is different and offers a great variety for fans of different horror sub-genres.
The acting in this one is great. Most of you know that I absolutely adore Erin Brown so this will be biased but I absolutely loved her character and her on screen personality. I loved the Mistress of Darkness character. She channels her inner Elvira while keeping that sultry Misty Mundae look. The supporting cast knocks it out of the park as well. Every character is perfectly portrayed and brought to live on screen. The cast works very well together and deliver amazing performances. This is one of the better acted indie films I have seen.
The stories for this one is great. Each segment was well written and offered a different type of story from the next. The first story, Jersey Devil, gave the viewer’s a new spin on the fabled cryptid. I like where the story took us but it doesn’t do a great job creating a backstory which is something I hope we eventually get in a sequel perhaps.
The second story, Creepy Dolls, has one of my favorite premises in the film but just doesn’t fully capitalize on it. I really wish we had more tiny doll terror. The third story, Lost Laundry, was one that caught me off guard. I thought the title was fucking stupid but this segment ended up being my favorite of the film. It was original and unpredictable.
The fourth story, Day Three, was another tale that had a fantastic story but was unable to reach it’s full potential. The story is actually pretty badass but somewhat falls apart as it comes to a close. The fifth tale, Blindside, was one that didn’t fit the film at all until the very end where it solidifies itself as a part of this anthology. The story doesn’t really feel like a horror tale until the last bit until it delivers a nice bite.
Finally, the film is full of practical and visual effects. Some of the scenes look better than others but the overall film looks great. The film isn’t really that gory but it is visually impressive. The lighting, along with the practical effects, look fantastic. Sadly, there is a few spots where the visuals on the Jersey Devil looks off but it was still a great segment.
Overall, Dead by Midnight (11pm Central) is a testament to what indie horror can achieve. This horror anthology will become a staple in any horror fans collection and pairs perfectly with WNUF Halloween Special. Check this mother fucker out.