After Midnight is an interesting horror film. The story brings together a number of genres in a quirky mish mash. Hank (Jeremy Gardner) wakes up one morning to find his girlfriend Abby (Brea Grant) has disappeared. The only clue is a strange note. As Hank tries to figure out what has happened, a beast tries to break into his home every night.
The story begins as a cute love story. Hank and Abby obviously have the type of relationship built over years of trust and misunderstandings. A jarring cut sees Hank shooting a hole at his front door as something tries to break in. This is just the first of many times After Midnight will suddenly jump between past and present.
How much a person likes After Midnight will depend on their patience with this narrative device. The story alternates between showing Hank in the present deal with Abby’s leaving and their loving past. There are also long scenes of exposition. This is a film that is not afraid to talk.
All the while it looks great. No movie has ever captured the essence of the Florida Everglades better. From all of the characters to the music, After Midnight drops the audience right into its down home setting.
Grant and Gardner do a fantastic job as the seemingly idyllic couple. Abby gives subtle glances that give a clue that all is not as it seems. Hank’s descent into paranoia is engaging. When After Midnight shifts gears, the two do so also, dragging the audience with them.
After Midnight is a horror movie that also looks at a relationship in trouble. It is a surprising mix that will throw the audience off at times and is bolstered by its strong performances.
After Midnight premieres on Shudder on February 11
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