What really makes the hair bristles stand straight up on my arm is a really obscure and overlooked vampire movie. Not because I’m savagely frightened by the content, but because those films that don’t make the theater cut or have a promotional parade across the internet just get the shaft and my heart breaks when the thought occurs to me that I never would have come across such a movie if I wasn’t such a die hard horror enthusiast. My review tonight is about one of those overlooked, passed on the rental shelves, not selected at the Redbox movies called Midnight Son.
A lonely night security guard named Jacob has a rare condition in which his skin literally burns when exposed to sunlight. Jacob also can’t quench his hunger with any food with the exception of fresh human blood. The doctors tell him his condition is Anemia due his malnutrition, but Jacob dreads his ailment to something more dark. When he falls for a pretty vendor girl Mary, his condition kicks into overdrive and drives his cravings to an all new heights causing blackouts, terrible dreams, demonized eyes and a irresistible craving for blood. Before Jacob realizes that what his newfound symptoms are really about, he’s already committed dastardly deeds that will change his once dull and lonely. life.
The subtly of the film helps draw me into Jacob’s loneliness and awkwardness. His role in Midnight Son comes off as a young man’s journey of self discovery and that discovery is his transition into becoming a creature of the night – a vampire. Much of Jacob’s backstory is omitted from us with only a picture of him as a young boy with a cast on his arm is revealed. The cast represents his lifelong ailment of not being able to withstand the UV rays of the sun. Other than that image of Jacob, we know of no father, mother, siblings, or childhood home for that matter of Jacob’s past. His background is as mysterious as his condition, but Tracey Walter, legendary sidekick actor (Batman, Conan The Destroyer), hints at his metamorphosis with the epiphany statement, “like caterpillar turning into a butterfly.” My main question is is Jacob really transitioning or is he just now realizing, after all these years, the vampire qualities? He tries to confirm his suspicions by placing a makeshift cross on his forehead wondering if he’ll scold him – he retrieved the idea from Stephen Geoffry’s Evil Ed character in Fright Night. A good reference to use! However, Jacob is no Evil Ed and not even close. There are no extended canines, his reflection still reflects, and he can’t turn into a fierce winged blood sucking creature. There is no coffin to be had here. Midnight Son resembles similar movies like George Romero’s Martin or Larry Fessenden’s Habit where the idea of the vampire is so instilled in the character’s mind that is hard to believe the character is not a vampire, but Jacob is the real McCoy and that proves itself amongst the other characters we encounter – Mary and Marcus.
Mary becomes Jacob’s love interest. Their meeting happens by chance and no vampire allure was against her free will or that of we know, but Mary has her own vices. She is also a night owl who likes to party in more ways than one – long party entrance lines and long lines of coke. Mary vices are overshadowed by her feelings of endearment toward Jacob; she wants to take of him to perhaps give her purpose in life where she won’t have to vendor lollipops outside the local bar (this is where they met). Jacob realizes how slammin’ Mary’s body is and how much affection she displays him. Director Scott Lebercht could have explored this more and given more of a reason why Mary falls for an awkward, nocturnal security guard who thwarts not one, not two, but three of her advances to rock his nosferatu world. Perhaps Lebercht wanted to show that no matter the misshaped character, there will always be someone out there in the world looking for a hardship case to take care of.
Now even though Mary has a fantastic body and a cute overbite (don’t ask), Marcus is quite the interesting character. This thug sells drugs and blood out back besides the biohazard dumpsters of the hospital where he works – “everybody has their thing,” he says and it’s true that everybody has their thing, their vice, their habit, their overall weird hobby. Marcus exploits other people’s addictions and makes a criminal living doing it as a side job, but when Marcus can’t shake Jacob’s relentless need for blood, Marcus’s thuggish bite pushes and shoves an object that will literally bite him back. Jacob’s antagonist is Marcus because after their confrontation, they become one and the same.
The best scene in the entire movie is the last. The scene brings the movie’s rating “contains strong gory images” to light however still tame I think the scene might be, but at least we get some sort of blood satisfaction and I love how the characters embrace and bask in their enlightened stages which begs to question – is this the beginning to the end of humanity once a reluctant embraces their true self? I’d like to see a follow up to Lebercht film and, as a side note, on my edition of Midnight Son – provided by Eureka Entertainment Monster Pictures division (thank you!) – states this film is from the director of The Blair Witch Project, but I don’t see Lebercht’s name connected to The Blair Witch Project. Am I missing some key information here? If you want the Monster Picture’s edition – being released February 11th – instead of the Image Entertainment’s edition, you’ll need a region free player as Monster PIctures is based in the UK. However, I wouldn’t like something little like crossing the Atlantic stop you from seeing Midnight Son!