This has been selected for Z because of the director ‘Travis Zariwny’.
Director: Travis Zariwny
Writer: Travis Zariwny (Screenplay) Rob Kennedy (Original Screenplay)
Starring: Robert Englund, Gabrielle Haugh, Lin Shaye, Grayson Gabriel, Michael Sirow
Plot: A girl and her friends find a game in the attic that summons a creature known as The Midnight Man, who uses their worst fears against them.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Nice Late Night Horror
Story: The Midnight Man starts with a young lady Alex (Haugh) caring for her elderly grandmother Anna (Shaye) who does have a dark past, when Alex and her friend Miles (Gabriel) discover a mysterious box in the attic, it sends Anna crazy forcing a Dr Harding (Englund) to check up on her.
When Alex and Miles decide to play the game from inside the box, they unleash the Midnight Man, a figure that will come and haunt its victims with their own fears if they don’t follow the strict rules of the game. They must now battle to survive the night against the deadly supernatural enemy.
Thoughts on The Midnight Man
Characters – Alex is a young lady who has been caring for her elderly grandmother, she lost her parents at a young age, she follows her routines put in place, until she takes part in the game bringing the Midnight Man to life. We don’t learn much about her life away from caring for her grandmother though. Miles is the best friend that has come to keep Alex company, there is hints of a romantic interest between the two, he is happy to play along with the game, but is the only one to search for the full rules before playing. Anna is the grandmother that played the game when she was a child, seeing her friends take by the creature, she has barely left the house since. Her secrets are kept from Alex though. Dr Harding is the trusted family doctor, but he too has a secret with his connection to the Midnight Man.
Performances – Gabrielle Haugh takes the leading role and she doesn’t do anything wrong here either, she shows the caring side needed and the smart side when it comes to fighting back. Grayson Gabriel is solid too, without needing to do too much. We do have horror legends in Robert Englund and Lin Shaye who both deliver everything to show their experience in this genre.
Story – The story here follows two friends that accidentally unleash the game of the Midnight Man who brings to life their biggest fears. The story does come from a CreepyPasta which means it could become one that catches fire in the horror community. The rules laid out are long, but effective to create the Midnight Man figure and using the ideas of your fears is an easy way to get away with in horror. We do have a few twists along the way, but otherwise we will get everything we need for a simple and effective story.
Horror – The horror from the film comes by using the creation of the Midnight Man, he has a unique look and how he uses his rules, he can create the fears needed. The kills are built into the horror, with age not being something this film is scared of using.
Settings – The film is set in one location, the house, which is part of the rules, this is effective and does help play into the idea that playing supernatural games are not a good idea.
Special Effects – The effects are used to show how the kills happen, they are effective and feel more practical than CGI.
Final Thoughts –This is an interesting idea for horror, it does create a new villainous figure that could strike fear into people.
Overall: Horror game that uses the rules.