Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Review: After Midnight

Release date: February 20, 2020
Running time: 134 minutes
Starring: Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski 

After Midnight follows a heartbroken man (Gardner) who is left in an empty home after his girlfriend of far too long leaves him (Grant).  However, as soon as she is gone, a strange creature attacks his house every night.  The man is left to defend his family's home on his own and stays up every night fending off the monster.  Unfortunately, no on in the town believes him except for his friend (Zebrowski), but their efforts seem to be to no avail.  

After Midnight bills itself as a creature feature and it starts off like that, but unfortunately it gives way to a relationship drama.  The creature is less of a feature and more of a convenient trope to explore the couple's relationship and what went wrong.  There are more flashbacks to better / worse times than there are suspenseful creature scenes.  And although the movie has some good acting, notably from Gardner, the characters are few and far between.  Much of the movie involves Gardner on his couch, guarding a door against an onslaught that the audience can't see.  And this would be OK if the camera showed anything else, even glimpses of the creature, but those rarely occur.  

And that is the essential problem with this movie.  As I said, it bills itself as a creature movie but doesn't have enough creature to be a feature.  It is really more about the relationship, with long flash backs to what happened and scenes that emphasize how lonely Hank (Gardner) is.  The story is not bad, and it is told in an interesting out of order way where flashbacks occur during the restless nights that fill in the backstory, but it is just not that interesting.  And the movie itself is too short to really develop much, making it feel shallow.  I applaud them for trying to merge genres and create this hybrid, but in the end, like the creature in this film, it is too illusory to be effective.

After Midnight has solid acting and an interesting story, but it unfortunately has too little creature to be a creature feature. 

Pass on it.

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