Available from Anchor Bay on DVD today is this fun little horror film that, n a nice change from today’s slew of horror titles, relies more on atmosphere than gore.
My only real complaint about The Midnight Game (besides the fact that it claims to be inspired by true events) is that its way too short, clocking in at 74 minutes. I really liked what the director and the cast were doing with the film, and wish they had gone for a full 90 minutes, or even a hallucinatory 120 minutes.
Taking a wonderfully basic idea, Cavlo and his young cast, including Renee Olstead, Shelby Young, Guy Wilson, Valentina de Angelis and Spencer Daniels, with a delightful appearance by Robert Romanus, tell a spooky little tale about a game gone horribly, horribly wrong.
Everyone is gathering at Kaitlin’s (Olstead) house, as her parents are going out-of-town for the weekend. When the boys Shane (Wilson) and Jeff (Daniels) show up, much to Jenna’s (de Angelis) and Rose’s (Young) delight, the evening really gets underway.
As the midnight hour approaches, and fears are shared, Shane suggests playing a pagan ritual that involves candles, following the rules, and dangerous punishment should the rules not be followed, all overseen by something called the Midnight Man. Unfortunately, the players don’t take the game seriously, despite spooking themselves, and it seems this little group may no longer be alone in the house, and something very dark seems to be happening.
I quite enjoyed all the performances in the film, they all come across as fun-loving kids who have simply crossed a line and confronted by something they didn’t even believe existed. The only thing I can complain about, is that because of the short run time, we didn’t get tons of time with each of the characters. I would have liked a little more, but as a tiny gem, this one works.
I enjoyed it all, trying to puzzle out if we were dealing with things like possession, demons, monsters, and then the resolution was a perfect coda to the film and, honestly, made me want to right back through and watch it all again.
As mentioned, this one doesn’t go for the blood, it goes for shadows, hints and glimpses, and a building sense of dread mingling with the thread of being scared. It’s a story you would tell around a campfire. Creepy, and in the dark, you can let it get to you.
I watched this one late at night, in the dark, and by the time that ending hit, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I had enjoyed myself watching this one. So if you’re looking for a short, fun little spookfest that relies more on atmosphere to provide its creep factor, have a look at this one.
It’s available from Anchor Bay today, and when you watch the credits it gives you a step by step guide to playing the game yourself! Have fun!