Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Fear 5/5
Gore 5/5
Creepiness 5/5
Entertainment 5/5

Based on a short story written by Clive Barker, The Midnight Meat Train has to be one of the best modern horror movies I've seen over the last couple of years. The film focuses on an aspiring photographer who is obssessed with trying to capture that one photo or series of photos that will land him on the map.

An art gallery dealer (played by the still hot and sexy Brooke Shields) encourages him to keep shooting in the hopes of finding some gems for her art exhibition that is a few weeks away.

The photographer spends his time shooting things during the day and at night; landscapes and every day human activities. But he just can't seem to find anything satisfying. One evening, in a fit of frustration he leaves his apartment that he shares with his girlfriend and heads out into the night. He runs into a group of thugs trying to harass a woman in a subway station and he begins snapping away photos which deters her assailants. He hops on a train, proud of the pictures he's captured, unaware that his would-be prized pictures are just around the corner. In a gruesome act, he stumbles upon a large and intimidating man (played to perfection by Vinny Jones). He watches the nicely suited man as he takes a rather large meat tenderizer and proceeds to bash away at an unsuspecting passenger. This starts a long and obssessive relationship between the photographer and killer, who brutally takes the lives of his victims every night aboard the late train.

The photographer begins to stalk the man, from home, to work (he works at a meat packing plant) to the late night train every night. Every night his killings involve more and more people and they become increasingly more brutal. The scenes are altogether disturbing and graphic. As the photographer becomes even more obssessed with the silent attacker, we begin to wonder if he has lost his way and if he is projecting his unfulfilling life onto that of the killer who seems to have some purpose, some goal in mind. What makes the film altogether suspenseful, is we have no idea why this man is on the train every night, killing innocent people and carving up their bodies in horrific ways.

The photographer starts to lose his grip on reality and we begin to feel as though he wants to be in the role of the killer. At least he has some sense of purpose, some end state that he is working towards, night after night. The end of the film brings the man and killer face to face and we find out why he rides the train every night, leading his life of complete silence and why he brutally attacks, kills and strings up his victims to the ceilings of the train cars.

Altogether shocking, brutal, suspenseful and more importantly, original, The Midnight Meat Train is one of the finest horror movies I've seen in quite some time. Rent it, steal it or buy it now.

Cortez the Killer

* * *

And now for something completely different. . .

Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 0/5

One thing Cortez and I agree on is our different tastes in music and movies. I'll skip the plot rehash since Cortez covered it pretty well. I'll say this though - this was not good, not all that fucked up and mostly like everything else Clive Barker has done: muddled, amateurish and generally kind of dumb. Cortez, you owe me an hour and a half of my life back as I only watched this based on your review.

This movie made little to no sense for nearly the first 7/8ths of the runtime. And, then, when the explanations came, they were simplistic, incomplete and goofy. The gore was 80% CGI and was poorly done at that. And really and truly, I am supposed to believe that Bradley Cooper could kick Vinnie Jones' ass?

My assessment is that this straight-to-cable / DVD movie is to be skipped. It's not good. It's not scary or disturbing, it's just silly and I'm slightly angry that I watched it all the way through. When Cortez and I disagree with stuff I often e-mail him a sweet photo of Pantera when they were all glammed up. He's a Pantera fan and I am not. I like to be a dick and rub it in. If I had something similar in regards to this movie I'd post it. Instead:

- Complaint Dept

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