Sun-dodging, sex and sanguination in a moody vamp horror from the director of The Blair Witch Project…
Whatever happened to movie monsters the good guys love to kill? Creatures of the night used to bring whole communities together, carrying torches and waving pitchforks, yet there’s no such nimby attitude these days. Whereas women used to run screaming from vampires, they are now more likely to jump on anything without a pulse. Perhaps this is the true, lasting legacy of Twilight, a series of films that saw its female lead debate whether to date a werewolf or a bloodsucker. It was restaurant silver service rather than silver bullets, steak tartine rather than stake through the heart. With zombie love story Warm Bodies on the way, things are only going to get worse.
It’s therefore disarming to find out that Midnight Son was shot in 2007 – a year before Twilight’s release – with principle photography taking place over 22 nights in Los Angeles and a few scenes being added years later. Had Scott Leberecht’s (The Blair Witch Project) film been released six years ago, its decision to ask the audience to feel sympathy for someone who stalks the night(shift) would have seemed much fresher.
The story follows Jacob (Zak Kilberg), an overnight security guard who had a normal childhood until a rare skin condition forced him to seek shelter during daylight. A joke from his junkie girlfriend Mary (Maya Parish) and a sudden change in his health – where no amount of eating can satisfy his hunger – has him renting vampire flicks and checking out his teeth in the mirror to see if he might be on the change.
Midnight Son uses its low budget to great effect. Vérité-style camerawork gives it a raw – if not quite bleeding – edge, witnessed in the handheld back and forth of a street conversation or the extreme close-ups of its insatiable lead character. Kilberg is RPattz without the sparkle, all tortured looks and glaring appetites.
Writer/director/producer Leberecht’s artistic input, meanwhile, even extends to the painted pictures of sunrises and sunsets Jacob obsessively crafts. Moody, mean and with a glimpse of LA’s darker side, it’s just a shame his film didn’t see sunlight for so long.
Midnight Son opens in cinemas in key UK cities on 11 January 2013.
- Like this movie? Check out the season eight Supernatural episode Bitten to see an awesome found footage take on what it’s like to become a werewolf.