The Midnight Man

FILM REVIEW: 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

★★☆☆☆
s–o–m

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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Hatchet: A Look At The Franchise

FILM REVIEW: HATCHET PARTS 1-3

⭐️⭐️⭐️

I find the Hatchet franchise to be a bloody good time! While I’m not terribly frightened by the films there are a few jump scares that made my heart skip a beat, but mostly the excessive gore and use of practical effects takes me to place where I appreciate the work involved and fine skills utilized in making these films.

Each Hatchet film (parts 1 through 3 and a 4th movie named Victor Crowley) aims to outdo the gore of the one before it. The crew effectively pulls this off by literally pulling off limbs and heads and other body parts off throughout each film. If Hatchet sough to be remembered for its creative kills, it has held up very well all these years later.

The story centers around Victor Crowley, a distorted and grotesque child who is set on fire by 3 locals. Housed in the swamps of the Louisiana bayou, Hatchet has fun with the location incorporating the obscenities of Mardi Gras and the unique scariness of the swamps.

When Director Adam Green signed on (recently deceased) special effects master John Buechler and Kane Hodder (Jason Vorhees) in the initial states of pre-production, he had to know he had something special in the making. When he further secured Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) and Tony Todd (Candyman) to the movie’s cast, Adam Green must have known he had a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Hatchet is as comical as it is disgusting. It doesn’t take itself too serious but just enough so that the movie does not fall into the camp niche. I got a kick out of how socially aware some of the stereotypes are and how the plot pulls itself together really well.

The main character and antagonist Victor Crowley may never see stardom equaled to Jason Vorhees, Freddy Kruger or even Madman Mars but he does stand on his own two feet. He is frightening and gross and the Hatchet franchise has its own unique magic that elevates it enough to be talked about when discussing the most successful slasher films of all time.