I often get offered films to watch and review that unfortunately I have to pass on because more often than not I just don’t have the time. I try to watch as much as I can, but it sometimes feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day between work, and well more work. I wish I could watch them all but unfortunately at times I have to pick and choose. When I received an email about the new IFC film entitled Midnighters, I took a look at the cast and was immediately intrigued thanks to the inclusion of Alexandra Essoe. So after reading the synopsis, I was actually pretty interested to check the film out.
“A New Year’s night becomes a long day’s journey into dread for one seriously unlucky couple in this wild-ride nerve-twister. On their way home from ringing in midnight on December 31, Lindsey (Alex Essoe) and Jeff (Dylan McTee) accidentally run down a man in the middle of the road. A man who they do not know but as it turns out was supposed to be on his way to their home, but for what purpose? ” That is about all I want to give up about the plot, as I think one of the things I ended up enjoying most about the film was not knowing what the hell was going on, and it kept my interest trying to figure out where things would end up. Part of the fun of the film (if you could call it that) is seeing how things spiral out of control after the incident on the road thanks to the decisions each person involved makes and each sinister development changes what you expect to happens.
While the twisting plot kept my interest, the real star of the show for me was of course Essoe. After being absurdly impressed by her acting ability in Starry Eyes (one of my favorite horror films of recent years) I was looking forward to seeing her in more projects and while Midnighters as a whole is undeniably solid, Essoe was once again the highlight for me. She once again is able to showcase a widerange of emotions at the drop of a dime and it is always interesting to watch her work. For anyone listening, I need her in more movies asap! Ward Horton also gives a great performance as a Detective who may or may not be who he says he is and once things get revealed and the plot thickens (yeah I said it) things get pretty suspenseful thanks to these two performances. The rest of the small cast does it’s job as well too, it just felt like these two characters had the most to work with and their actors shined in the roles.
This review may seem light on the details, but Midnighters is a smaller film where much of the action takes place in one spot, but unlike other films with a set location, Julius Ramsay’s debut film (written by Alston Ramsay) never gets tiresome and keeps things from feeling stagnant, even while being a bit of a slow burn. By delving into too many particulars I would strip the film of it’s strengths. I would love to talk more about it though otherwise as I feel it merits it. Midnighters may not be what I would call a horror film, as for me it teeters more on the crime side of things, but I think horror fans would enjoy it just the same as it is suspenseful enough to keep them invested and the promise of bits of gore here and there should seal the deal. Midnighters is a solid thriller that is worth a look.