Plot: Alex (Gabrielle Haugh) helps to take care of her grandmother Anna (Lin Shaye), who lives in an old, eerie house filled with shadows and secrets. She and her friend Miles (Grayson Gabriel) have been poking around, looking for interesting curios or family details, when they discover a mysterious game. The dusty old game centers on fear, as players will be confronted with their deepest fears and a presence known as The Midnight Man, or so the game claims. Of course, Alex and Miles can’t resist giving the game a spin and some odd events begin to unfold, though it is dismissed as coincidence or paranoia in the creepy old house. But is The Midnight Man just an old myth used to scare players of the obscure game, or have the friends somehow unleashed an ancient evil back into the world?
Entertainment Value: The Midnight Man doesn’t have grand ambitions, but it does have a passable premise and some fun visuals, not to mention appearances from genre stars Lin Shaye and Robert Englund. The story is basic and not so original, but it sets up some opportunities for atmosphere and kills, though the logic are immense, even by horror standards. The movie also suffers from a lackluster cast, which fails to deliver outside of the big names brought in, so the performances are weak in most scenes, though far from the worst I’ve seen. An ineffective cast and weak script could have been balanced with some wild kills or creative scares, but The Midnight Man isn’t able to rack up enough of either to compensate. I do think there are some fun scenes and the kills are well done, but I think the movie needed more punch in the horror elements, since the rest of the film fails to create much of a spark. This sounds like a harsh review, but I actually had a decent time with The Midnight Man, I just wish it was more consistent and fixed some of the glaring issues. There’s a good horror movie buried in here, but sadly we only get to see glimpses of it in this version.
No nakedness. This one has no sleaze, as the man of midnight just wants to scare and kill, with no eye for romance. There’s some bloodshed and fun kills, but not over the top levels of gore or overly memorable violence. A good amount of the red stuff falls into the aftermath category, where we don’t directly see the kinetic violence involved, but there are some nice bursts of authentic bloodletting on hand. The effects are a blend of CGI and practical, with solid overall presence. I just wish there was more of the horror style elements to help bolster the weaker parts of the movie, instead of just sudden jolts of the spook show traits. The look of the midnight man is effective and well crafted, while the film’s dark visual atmosphere helps keep the creepiness up and winds up as one of the movie’s strongest elements. The dialogue is not great, one of the weaker parts of the movie, so not much in terms of memorable or quotable lines. Not actively terrible, but just not that good. As for craziness, there’s some creepiness at times, but no real over the top or overly wild moments.
Overall Insanity: 1/10