WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I reviewed the original version of Midnight Movie a while ago and it was one of those gems that are so few and far between in the horror genre. Having already discussed the original version of the film I don’t really want to do a rehash of that here, but rather to simply compare this new version to that of the original.
The premise of this movie is simple: a few moons ago a man named Ted Radford directed a movie called The Dark Beneath. This movie became the man’s all-consuming obsession, and many believed that the actors portrayed in the film had actually been killed by Radford for a better effect. As his obsession grew Radford gradually descended into madness, a madness that continued to grow even after he was committed to the psych ward. When he shows no sign of improvement some bright spark thinks the best thing to do would be to show him his movie again and hope that it snaps him out of his dementia. The plan half-works and Radford completely snaps and kills everyone in the asylum before going missing.
Needless to say any demented serial horror director ever stays missing for long (and this applies in real life too!) and, 5 years later, he decides to make an appearance at a midnight screening of his movie. The crowd at the theatre is tiny and the cinema itself is about as dingy as they come, but Radford is intent on making up for all that with as much gore and killing as he can possibly muster.
Now to compare the two different versions. Granted it has been a while since I watched the original, but there is a slight difference of focus in the Killer Cut. While I felt that the original version played more with the 80s slasher angle and left the supernatural element for later the Killer Cut leads with the latter right out the gate. Whether this effects how much you enjoy the movie entirely depends on how you like your horror best served but I like to be kept guessing a little bit (but not in the usual b-horror way where both me and the director are wondering what’s going on throughout the movie). The effects have been nicely jazzed up in places and some of the scenes have either been reworked or moved around a little bit, again adding to the shift of focus in favour of the movie’s supernatural elements.
Whether it’s the original or the redone version Midnight Movie remains a fun watch and in a way it all works out because you can watch whichever one best suits your individual tastes. If you’ve already seen the original version the Killer Cut is still worth the watch, even if you only want to see how well a movie can be made on a relatively small budget. And well done to Jack Messitt, with this being his debut directorial role, for taking the time to go back and retweak the movie the way he wanted it. If more people put in that kind of effort we horror fans wouldn’t be saddled with nearly half as much crap as we are (and I wouldn’t have anything to blog about 🙂 )
Read my original review of Midnight Movie here.
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Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Thriller
IMDB Rating: 5 / 10
Level of Awful: Surprise!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I love watching bad horror movies so much that I’ve dedicated an entire blog to them, but after watching too many even my brain threatens to turn to mush. That’s why I decided to watch Midnight Movie – I’d read up about it and it looked like it had some promise. And it didn’t disappoint! There’s nothing very original about this movie (it’s a sort of Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets The Hills Run Red) but it’s 80 minutes of pure slasher heaven with a mix-and-match group of soon-to-be-victims trying to outrun a deranged lunatic with a limp. There are scares and jumps and ominous moments with blood on the walls and guts on the floor; in short it’s fun, mindless horror 😀
Back in the day when movies were still black and white Ted Radford wrote, directed, produced and starred in a movie called The Dark Beneath. Ted unfortunately went a little off the rails when he became so obsessed with his film that he started to believe that he was the killer in it and murdered his cast and crew. Years later he’s been locked away in an insane asylum for quite some time when his doctor decides that it’s time to attempt a breakthrough with his patient. The best way to break Ted’s obsession with The Dark Beneath, in the good doctor’s opinion, is to let him watch it again and realise that it’s only a movie, not reality. As is often the case this doesn’t go exactly to plan and the screening pushes Ted even further over the edge before he decides to murder every single other person in the asylum and make his escape.
5 years after Radford made his escape from the loony bin a little movie theater is planning a midnight screening of The Dark Beneath. Det. Barrons, who oversaw the police investigation at the asylum, is convinced that Radford will turn up since it’s the first screening of the movie since he went missing. The rest of the police department think that he’s insane since they believe a cult broke into the asylum and Radford was killed along with everyone else. Thankfully the one person who feels the same way he does is Dr Wayne, the only doctor who thought showing Radford his movie again would have been a bad idea. Along with these two we have Bridget (the manager at the theater), her boyfriend Josh, their friends Mario and Samantha, a biker couple named Harley and Babe, horror nerd Sully and Rachael and Kenny, two other kids who work at the theater. With everyone comfy and buckets of popcorn at the ready they settle down to watch the movie.
You know shit’s gonna hit the fan when Josh tells Bridget, who’s had a few issues with her father, that as long as he’s around nobody’s gonna hurt her. The movie starts off alright but takes an odd turn when the film switches to a POV shot of the theater itself with Kenny being impaled on the murderer’s weapon. Everyone in the theater thinks it’s a joke and continues to laugh when the same thing happens to Sully and Rachael. When everyone goes to look for the three missing kids, however, they figure out (with the help of the detective) that the blood on the floor is real and that every time the movie switches to a POV shot Radford (dressed as the killer from the film) is hunting someone else down. But like every good horror villain you can hit Radford with a baseball bat and you can even shoot him a few times but he’s just gonna keep on limping after you – and murder you in good, black and white movie style.
THINGS I’VE LEARNED:
- Testosterone is the natural order of the universe.
- Biker chicks are remarkably understanding when their boyfriends get turned on by other women.
- When a massacre occurs at a mental asylum you should never go looking for the one person that’s missing.
- A liver makes a great soccer ball.
- Stoners are drawn to houses with creepy old ladies living in them.
- Chivalry isn’t dead, but it may end up in you being dead.
- “Let’s stick together” means “let’s split up gradually”.
- You never have bullets when you wanna make the killshot.
- Telling a deranged killer “you gotta go through me first” usually means he will take you literally.
MIDNIGHT MOVIE TRAILER