Review: MIDNIGHT SON (2011)

Bleeding Dead, with not a Retro Review? It’s a scary world we live in.

In MIDNIGHT SON Jacob has suffered from a sensitive skin condition all his life where any exposure to the sun will severely burn him. As an adult he begins to notice that more symptoms seem to be appearing, specifically a thirst for blood. Tight for supplies Jacob has to resort to different, and creative, matters to curb his hunger which gets him involved with a blood dealer who provokes trouble in the security guard’s life. All this happens to align with his meeting of Mary, an attractive bar tender/candy cigarette dispenser who doesn’t appear to mind Jacob’s nocturnal lifestyle. As Jacob begins to divulge further into his vampirism his liking of Mary grows and the two begin to connect on an intimate level.

MIDNIGHT SON was the only full length film I saw at the Mile High Horror Film Festival and I’m glad I did. It was beautifully shot, beautifully written, and beautifully acted. Basically it was a sublime film that I want to own. It’s what most modern vampire love films are not, romantic and horrifying; capturing the trauma of relationships and the inner desires, vampire and human alike. As much as I did love the film its not full horror, as the only truly terrifying part is the last five minutes and the aesthetic last frame. Up until then it’s mainly Jacob adapting to his life and falling for Mary. That’s not to attest that it’s not a horror film, it is but like another in its genre, Let The Right One In, its just not in your face. The subtle and kempt paced finale is a moving and violent build up, and the final image haunts you long after it fades to black.

Writer and director Scott Leberecht created a unique script where Jacob’s conditions weren’t just amounted to vampirism but diagnosed as actual illnesses (anemic photosensitive anyone?). The love story is not only convincing but quietly played between our two leads Zak Kilberg and Maya Parish. There’s that struggle but desire to come back. Kilberg’s Jacob is able to let way with his carnal changes in breathtaking pain but doesn’t overplay the hatred of what he is. Parish plays a darker Mary with her drug habit, but it’s countered with her tending towards Jacob’s unusual lifestyle. Both actors are deeply in-stitched in their roles, and with each other; there was never a moment where I didn’t believe that Jacob liked Mary. The lighting and cinematography give way to a more gritty style; with a conducted base of grim tones and camera angles, several scenes stay in your mind from the art alone.

This review isn’t particularly long as there isn’t much to say about MIDNIGHT SON other than that…it’s a beautiful film. If ever in need for a definition of the adjective and noun when used together this would be the film to render such. There were a few questions I had that went unanswered but another thing Leberecht did was set up the script so I was able to imagine what happened after the credits (my questions pertain to more of Jacob’s past). I’d also like to note that the image of Jacob holding a blood stained Starbucks coffee cup is really just waiting to become iconic. MIDNIGHT SON is available on DVD, VOD, and Digital. You can visit the film’s site midnightsonmovie.com to get more information on how to view it. 

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