Midnight Son, USA, 2011
Dir. Scott Leberecht |Starring Zak Kilberg, Maya Parish
If you had to sum up this film in one line, it would be simply, and unsurprisingly, A Vampire Love Story. ‘Another one?’, i hear you cry. But hold tight. Before you run for the hills thinking that what we have here is a low budget Twilight remake, then stop running and wait…just a minute at least. Twilight this is not, not least of all because it doesn’t have even a proportion of the budget of the Hollywood behemoth, let alone the star names and special effects, but because this film, though perhaps hitching a ride on tails the current vampire craze, is approaching its subject matter in a slightly different way. The vampire in question, Jacob (Zak Kilberg), is a lonely young man who thinks he is afflicted with a rare skin disease. He works the night shift as a security guard, lives alone in a basement flat and paints pictures of the sunshine he never sees. There are very few mentions of the ‘V’ word and none at all of the vampire lore that our popular teen culture has become accustomed to. Relief all round.
The film hinges on the relationship Jacob pursues with a bartender named Mary (Maya Parish), and the struggle he has in not only accepting who he is but also understanding his burgeoning feelings for another person having spent so much of his time shut away on his own. Unfortunately his attempts to explain to Mary why his eyes turn yellow in moments of passion and what the red juice in the fridge is are as painful for Jacob as they are for the audience. The love story, however, is handled well and could equally relate to the awkward early stages of any normal relationship, rather than one involving a blood thirsty loner trying to get to grips with his worsening bloodlust.
Midnight Son is not the best vampire film of recent years, but it does have moments of redemption. Though there are holes in the plot that leave the audience feeling a little frustrated, its original take on the world of vampirism is refreshing. Not a Bella or Edward in sight, praise the lord. What it lacks in flashy special effects, it makes up with subtle suggestion, a dying art in Vampire movies of late. It’s a worthy directorial effort from festival favourite, Scott Leberecht (of Blair Witch Project fame), and has enough merit to keep you engaged throughout, but the Twilight juggernaut can sleep easy for now.
6 out of 10
Midnight Son is out in selected cinemas Jan 11th 2013. Watch the trailer here: