Midnighters (2017) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

A couple coming back from a New Year’s party hits a man on the highway. As they try to figure out what to do, things take turns for the worse and worse, testing them and their resolve.

Written by Alston Ramsay and directed by Julius Ramsay, Midnighters is a thriller with touches of horror that takes its time to set up the situation and the stress of it before through a wrench into the proceeding and ads extra characters in the story and everything takes a few more turns that are surprising yet still make sense. The writing and directing of the film show that they creators work well together and them being brothers definitely help. Their work is good here and the film is a tightly planned and executed thriller.

The cast here is great to watch with lead Alex Essoe as Lindsey giving the type of performance that grabs the viewer and doesn’t let go. With just about anyone in any scene, she always ends up stealing all the scenes she is in. Her performance shows that she can create characters that feel real and that are interesting to watch. She gives a layered performance that evolves with the film and its story. Playing a bad guy that is larger than life, actor Ward Horton gives one of those maniacal performances that captivates while also weirding out a bit. For some reason, this works perfectly in this film as his performance gives the bad guy he plays an extra shade of nutty. The rest of the cast also does well and the fact that the cast is minimal (for the most part of the film) makes it work even better in this case.

The cinematography by Alexander Alexandrov is also very strong, the whole film is well-framed with carefully planned shots and sequences that show Alexandrov knows what he’s doing and the film as a whole was planned down to every detail. The attention to detail in the shot gives sublime images for the viewer to look at while the action goes on. The locations are used to their best and are given a life of their own in some scenes and sequences, something that adds a visual aspect to the story and the acting.

Midnighters is one of those films that develops the story carefully and let it evolve in a natural way for the lead characters after a traumatizing even that changes teir lives and causes everyone to question their relationship to each other. The film may be about a couple hitting a man on their way back from a part, but that is only the starter to their relationship being questioned and evolving towards change and leading each character to evolve under pressure. The character study this becomes is the most interesting part of the film paired with the thriller aspect that creates a captivating watch.