Director – Travis Zariwny (Cabin Fever, Intruder)
Starring – Gabrielle Haugh (Jeepers Creepers 3, Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?), Lin Shaye (Detroit Rock City, Kingpin), and Grayson Gabriel (Stan Helsing, R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour)
Release Date – 2016
Rating – 2/5
The IFC Midnight and Scream Factory partnership has brought several amazing films to the table for genre fans. There has been a handful over the years that I’m proud to own in my collection. Their originality and sharpness make them stand out among other Scream Factory releases.
When I think of IFC Midnight I immediately think of these titles release by Scream Factory. Sadly, there has been a few titles to be released from this partnership that failed to hit their mark. Several months back I was sent the Lin Shaye and Robert Englund horror film The Midnight Man. It looked interested but this was one that just could not hold my interest.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young woman who is taking care of her grandmother (Shaye) with dementia. One night she invites a friend over and they explore her attic where they uncover what looks like a very old game. They try it out and mistakenly unleash an evil being known as the Midnight Man who uses their fears to kill them. They must now play the game or forfeit their lives. **Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one expecting something fun and unforgettable but instead I was greeted with a lackluster story centered around what I’m sure is a current creepy pasta trend. The film underutilizes the amazing cast and struggles to find it’s footing within the story.
The acting in this one isn’t bad but the cast doesn’t have a chance to show what they have to offer the film. The film boasts Robert Englund and Lin Shaye’s names but they are hardly in the film enough to have them listed as stars. I hate when a genre legend has a small cameo in a film but they have them billed as the star. Always a huge let down when a film does this. With that being said, the real stars of the film are given painfully generic characters to bring to life which is impossible due to the story.
The story for this one is similar to several films we’ve seen recently hit direct to video following a creepy old game of some sort intended to raise the dead or an evil creature. Though this film was originally filmed in 2016 there was still several films around that time with similar stories and they all fall short. We get several extremely uneventful scenes with very little to do with the story itself and minor character development before moving on to the more eventful scenes and I use that term very lightly.
Finally, the film doesn’t shy away from the red stuff but the viewer doesn’t get to really enjoy it. Most of it takes place off screen with the blood only making an appearance which is a shame considering how great the practical effects are. I liked how the creature looked and what practical effects we could see. Overall, The Midnight Man just didn’t do it for me. The creepy pasta story and underutilization of the cast was just enough to create a mediocre horror film at best that is easily forgettable. I would label this one Wal-Mart horror.