Friday, October 24, 2008

The Midnight Meat Train (2008, Ryuhei Kitamura)

First of all, I had no idea that Ryuhei Kitmura (Versus, Azumi, Godzilla: Final Wars) was the director behind this film until I checked on the imdb page after watching it. IT blew my mind when I found out. Really. 

Despite its hokey title The Midnight Meat Train is a pretty damn good horror/thriller which I can see gaining a tiny but strong cult following over the years despite having an excellent build up and a very disappointing and just plain odd final couple of minutes. 

The film goes into the subcatagory of "films that are like Blow Up or Rear Window" since this one deals with a photographer who after taking pictures of a girl getting into a train is shocked to find out about her death in the paper the next day. Convinced that his photographs might hold some clues to her disappearance he begins to look into them to only find out that his pictures do indeed hold some clues. Since no one else believes him he sets out to try and solve the mystery and through this he stumbles into a horrible secret that happens every night during the midnight train....dun...dun...dun.

Given the plot and premise, The Midnight Meat Train is a fun ride (get it?) while it lasts and you are trying to figure out the mystery along with the lead character. You are always left guessing and wondering and you even accept some plot twists to get to there but once that mystery is solved the film just leaves you scratching your head. I'm not saying that its a stupid conclusion or anything along those lines. It's an odd one that is presented so fast and so "...and that's what happens.." that it confuses you and makes you just say "hmmm..really?" and before you can even think about it too much the credits are already rolling. However, as I already wrote before, the build up to the final 15 or so minutes is great and boasts a number of scenes that are really top notch. 

Since Kitamura is behind the camera The Midnight Meat Train is worth checking out just for his kinetic style and interesting camera movements alone. He makes what could have been a pretty good horror film into an interesting one just because of his style alone. 

It could have been really great but it just ended up being pretty damn good. That's pretty much it with this film. It's worth a watch for sure and I am surprised that it did not make it to more theaters since it's way better than most horror films that come out every year despite its flaws.


No comments: