Having Lin Shaye and Robert Englund in the same movie can only be a good thing… to a degree.
Whilst the film is greatly improved by their involvement thanks to their acting prowess and years of experience.
You’d forgive them if they just phoned in their performances but they give it there all, which is a much-needed blessing to churn the film along.
The problem arises in the leads, who struggle to bring the admittedly ropey dialogue to life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen worse performances on screen but it did feel like pulling teeth on more than one occasion.
From the start, The Midnight Man ticks the usual horror tropes with a trio of kids in a haunted house set up and protecting themselves within a chalk circle from an unknown entity that wants to pick them off one by one.
Fast forward to present day to find the sole survivor now and elderly woman (Shaye) who’s granddaughter, Alex (Gabrielle Haugh) and her friend Miles (Grayson Gabriel), pay her a visit, only to discover a game in the attic that summons the titular creature.
So far, so same same. And that’s the problem with this movie. It has so many options to create something new by playing with a fairly decent urban myth.
I mean, the very concept of a creature who can sense your innermost fear (think a darker version could of Red Dwarf’s Polymorph) and to turn that fear against you has so much fodder.
Instead we’re presented with lazy writing and wooden performances producing poor choices from the characters, which ultimately leads the audience to care little about what becomes of them.
Especially when a third party comes into the equation, only for them to become an easy victim.
The Midnight Man could have and should have been so much more than it delivers. Instead we’re treated to a mediocre fare and wondering what Englund’s Freddy would have made of the pretender to the boogeyman throne.
- Saul Muerte