Sunday, September 9, 2012

Midnight Son (2011)

I was in K-Mart today, and the song "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" started playing. As it played, I remembered something: the teenage me would have gotten furious about such a song. I'm twenty nine now, and I didn't feel anything about it. I just said to myself  "Oh yeah, that was a thing." Hell, it's not even close to the worst song I've heard. It was just a part of time that hasn't completely gone away and was for a different audience, and that's okay. Hell, I'd rather listen to that than what they play at Kroger (Stained, Third Eye Blind and Blessed Union of Souls for example.)

I kind of feel the same way about "Twilight." Three years ago, I thought it was the worst thing in Entertainment. Nowadays, it barely warrants a reaction from me. Maybe I'm getting older, or maybe it's because we now live in a world where shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" exists, but it doesn't seem like the worst thing ever made these days. When you think about it, there's been much worse before, there are worse things now, and there will be worse things afterwards. Besides, are those movies really worse than say, "Soul Man" or "The Devil Inside"? Getting bent out of shape over "Twilight" or feeling a need to constantly put it down as a means to make yourself feel better or telling us how it ruined vampires and werewolves is a waste of time.

Why am I mentioning "Twilight"? Because some may feel that "Midnight Son", today's movie, is a rip off of that franchise, as it deals with a vampire falling for a girl. Apart from that though, they couldn't be more different from one another.

The plot deals with Jacob (Zak Kilberg), who has a skin condition that keeps him from going out in the sun, and who needs to drink blood to stay alive. So yeah, he's a vampire. He also now needs human blood to survive, and in the process falls for a street junkie named Mary (Maya Parish.) However, when dead bodies start showing up, and the police start to investigate-not to mention his supplier Marcus (Jo D. Jonz) getting suspicious-his life starts to fall apart.

Though there are flaws (the police investigation subplot feels like padding, it does drag a few times), "Midnight Son" is an impressive little sleeper that won me over. This is mostly due to the intelligent way it looks at someone coping with their their true nature, and how trying to indulge or deny it can hurt not only them, but those they care about. In that way, it's more reminiscent of George Romero's "Martin" and Larry Fessenden's "Habit" than the likes of "30 Days of Night", and I found that to be refreshing. The performances are also great, especially Kilberg. A man whose no stranger to genre films (he was in "Zombie Strippers" and "Haunted Echoes"), he's a revelation here, perfectly capturing the mindset of a man trapped between his true, murderous nature and trying to find a normal life.

As a whole, horror fans looking for something that offers a more mature take on vampirism over the usual blood and violence of most of today's vampire films will most likely like "Midnight Son." It's refreshing break from the norm, and certainly deserves an audience.

Rating: 8/10

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