The Midnight Man


Director: Travis Zariwny
Writers: Rob Kennedy, Travis Zariwny

Starring: Summer H. Howell, Gabrielle Haugh, Lin Shaye, Robert Englund, Kyle Strauts, Grayson Gabriel, Michael Sirow, Emily Haine

Release Date: January 19, 2018


The Midnight Man stars horror legends Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Lin Shaye (Insidious) in this remake of the 2013 Irish horror movie Midnight Man and presumed inspired by The Midnight Game, the 2013 film adapted from the creepypasta of the same name. Our legendary icon’s portrayals are not at their best, however it’s not the acting that disengages the audience, but rather writer and director Travis Zariwny’s bland script. Zariwny successfully creates a few moments of tension throughout but the missed opportunities are too many.

Robert Englund, Grayson Gabriel, Gabrielle Haugh

In the well-maintained attic fully furnished with a curious male mannequin and a gun with three bullets, a sealed box containing the pieces needed to play The Midnight Game, is discovered. The cursed pagan game awaits innocent curiosity to thus bring forth a demonic spirit, The Midnight Man—an evil so smart, its strength lies in its savvy to trick players to their demise.

Gabrielle Haugh, Lin Shaye

Follow the rules and you will be safe, don’t and you will die! Only problem with the ‘rules’ of this game is that time and time again we observe, the Midnight Man does not like to follow rules as he “does not like to lose.”

Decades before in the very mansion Alexandra (Gabrielle Haugh) now resides as caretaker to her declining grandmother Ana (Lin Shaye), The Midnight Game was played with dire consequence. Once again the box is finally opened by Alex and her friend Miles (Grayson Gabriel), who will wager everything for a few hours of trying to stay alive. Although one can’t help but wonder “why on earth would anyone would want to play this ‘game’?”

Grayson Gabriel, Gabrielle Haugh

Suspend your disbelief as we may for even the best of horror films, but unfortunately The Midnight Man still falls short on scares. Contributed to bland CGI, the monster’s lackluster appeal mixed with its obvious Halloween store allure, and The Midnight Man is a bore. The fact that the imminently endangered teens have full sentence conversations with the raspy voiced Midnight Man himself takes away from the suspense at once.

Emily Haine

Quite possibly the most absurd aspect of the film happens when in the midst of fighting off The Midnight Man, Alex and Miles find themselves answering a knock on the door by a third friend, Kelly (Emily Haine) who we discover is well versed on the Urban Legend and therefore remains in the house to help her friends. “You can get out now,” Alexandra tells Kelly. “I wouldn’t desert my friends,” she replies. (She probably should have heeded the warning if you catch my drift.)

Kyle Strauts as The Midnight Man

The Midnight Man is a glossy, commercial looking film that will keep viewers tuned in from start to finish. As a background movie or out of desperation, the film will suffice. The biggest crime though that The Midnight Man has commited is that you will likely not remember much of it after a short time.

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Director: Robert Shaye
Writers: John Rocco and Jenna Lyn Wright

Starring: Katherine Hughes, Giles Matthey, Sonoma Mizuno, Dylan McNamara, Kyanna Simone Simpson, John Kroft, Bryan Batt, Jordan Salmon, Lin Shaye, Jared Bankens, Han Soto

Release Date: September 20, 2019


The psychological thriller Ambition stars Jude Hunter (Katherine C. Hughes), as fourth year violinist whom has been inexplicably and deeply troubled by the death of her peer and closest competitor, Emily Forster (Jordan Salmon). When Emily falls to her death from the music department roof, it becomes widely accepted that as much as people don’t want to believe Emily committed suicide, the alternative to a handful of people whom believe she was murdered might be a worse option.

As Jude struggles with where she stands in the world of musical genius, she also struggles with what, if any bearing Emily’s death may have on her place in the music departmentment. When Jude broaches the subject with her professor and mentor, it is swiftly diffused curiously implicating the professor as a suspect.

The brunt of Ambition takes place outside the world of music and inside the off-campus housing where Jude lives with her two roommates Sara and Veronica (Sonoya Mizuno, Kyanna Simone). It is here we see the Jude’s paranoia explode only to occasionally be pulled back just enough for us to question her reality.

Making matters increasingly complicated are neighbor and friend duo Steve and Dave (Dylan McNamara, Giles Matthey), who pop in and out of the girl’s house, adding another dimesnion to the paranoia, or is it perhaps protection for Jude and her roommates? We do not know.

Before the terror arcs, Ambition treads slowly and effectively as it lays forth a story of college students in off-campus housing living their best lives. The drama is refreshingly realistic and effective but when it takes a turn to horror, the story gets a bit convoluted.