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Category:    Home > Reviews > Horror > Supernatural > Satanism > The Midnight Game (2014/Anchor Bay DVD)

The Midnight Game (2014/Anchor Bay DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D- Film: D

A.D. Calvo's The Midnight Game is based on an old pagan ritual and is used mainly as punishment for those who have broken the laws of the pagan religion in question. While it was mainly used as a scare tactic to not disobey the gods, there is still a very existent chance of death to those who play the Midnight Game. There is an even higher chance of permanent mental scarring. It is highly recommended that you DO NOT PLAY THE MIDNIGHT GAME. Pretty creepy huh? Too bad the movie isn't very scary. Generically acted and scripted, the film features a few occasional scares but doesn't quite succeed to the level that it wishes.

Bubbly blonde teenager Kaitlan (Renee Olstead) has decided to invite over a few of her friends after she finds that her parents are leaving her home alone for the weekend. She's planning for a small, relatively quiet get together with her friends Jenna (Valentina de Angelis) and Rose (Shelby Young), but Kaitlan soon finds that Rose has invited boys to the party... uh oh. Stud muffins Shane (Guy Wilson) and Jeff (Spencer Daniels). Not wanting to seem lame, Kaitlan allows the boys to stay and party with them. Eventually Shane suggests that they play The Midnight Game, where participants confess their deepest fears while performing a pagan ritual. Anyone who performs the ritual inaccurately runs the risk of running into the Midnight Man, a terrifying figure that can bring the participants' fears to life. Of course, the teens play the game and very odd things start happening. When will they ever learn? The plot is very Evil Dead or even Jumanji, where you play the game and bad things happen. In other words, very by the numbers.

After the intriguing setup, the film starts to lag after the initial night and onto the next morning, never quite succeeding on its setup. Why didn't the whole film take place in that one night with nonstop action? The use of pentagrams in the movie is a little much and the acting is just so bad its hard to look past. All in all, I wanted the film to be more creative and not so reliant on boo scares. This film is based on creepypasta - which is a short story that is posted on the Internet that is designed to unnerve and shock the reader. Sometimes true and sometimes false, if adopted to more films could prove to be effective in pumping some original concepts into the horror. The goal for this film and the idea was there, the execution just wasn't good enough to make it memorable and the lack of star power.

The DVD presentation of the film is fine for the format. With a Standard Definition transfer and an anamorphically enhanced widescreen presentation of 2.35:1. The soundtrack is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 and English subtitles.

Special features are non-existent and merely include your choice of English or Spanish subtitles and a trailer for the horror release House of Dust.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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