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Midnighters (2018) - Movie Review

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The Midnighters - Movie Review

Movie Review

3 stars

New Year’s Day couldn’t start any worse for the married couple at the center of this thriller from IFC Midnight. Kiddos, what happens in Midnighters, a tasty little hit job from The Ramsay Brothers, is proof positive of why you shouldn’t fool around and drive after drinking the night away. Bad shit is going to happen to you and yours; really bad shit.  

And it begins with missing the all-important New Year’s Eve kiss.  There's no recovery from that.  Be warned.

What happens in Midnighters is disturbing enough for this crime-meets-horror hybrid flick about one gripping night of terror and the consequence that comes tumbling after the initial impact. How the movie proceeds in creating an atmosphere of endless suspense makes for something else entirely. Quite simply, the movie works in stringing things together into one package.

There’s a nice forward momentum throughout this dark tale. And the acting from Alex Essoe as Lindsay and Dylan McTee as Jeff, the couple already at odds with each other over financial issues, is solid. We may not wish them the best, but theirs is a naturally played trajectory. Especially, when the beating begins.

This thirty-something couple, after moving from the big city to a small town in New England, wind up hitting a man on windy road in the pitch black night. Sure, this particular scene could have been built up a bit more but, perhaps, the suddenness of the accident is there to rattle us from the purple hues of the night surrounding this couple.

The thriller, with green and steely blue colors dominating the color palette, works quite well as handguns and hostages follow suit in the wake of their really poor decision to not report a hit and run accident. Instead, they bring the victim to their home. Described as a real fixer upper, the home provides a nice board for the game to play out upon thanks to the inclusion of Lindsay’s younger sister Hannah (Perla Haney-Jardine), who may or may not know why the dude they ran down had their address on his person.

Is there a connective thread to this series of bizarre events? There’s way too much going on to think otherwise. Lots of people are suddenly coming to the house. And cinematographer Alexander Alexandrov’s camera is consistently in play. There are a lot of well-shot scenes and they work to assemble a fierce product.

Written by Alston Ramsay and directed by Julius Ramsay (The Walking Dead), Midnighters is not as clever as it should be with some of its twists, but it creates a serious sense of dread that more than makes up for its weaker links. Ultimately, this works in its favor as self-interest kills some of the concern we might have otherwise had for some of the characters.

Unfortunately, there’s not enough good to make up for that character oversight when the direness of this couple’s terrifying situation comes into focus and the violence comes home to roost. This couple is truly in over their heads with the repercussions of their roadside accident. They have no idea what this New Year’s Day is going to bring but none of it is any damn good.

Midnighters is currently playing in select cities. It opens Friday, March 2nd in Columbus at the Screenland Crossroads in Kansas City.


Film Details

The Midnighters - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 94 mins
Director: Julius Ramsay
Writer: Alston Ramsay
Cast: Alex Essoe, Perla Haney-Jardine, Dylan McTee
Genre: Thriller
Tagline: Killing is easy. Getting away with it is murder.
Memorable Movie Quote: 
Distributor: Graystone Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date: March 2, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: No details available.
Synopsis: Midnight, New Year’s Eve: when all the hopes of new beginnings come to life – except for Lindsey and Jeff Pittman, whose strained marriage faces the ultimate test after they cover up a terrible crime and find themselves entangled in a Hitchcockian web of deceit and madness. From THE WALKING DEAD director Julius Ramsay, MIDNIGHTERS is a layered, enigmatic thriller set in the Gothic backwoods of New England – the perfect place to get away with murder.


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The Midnighters - Movie Review

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