I am the first to admit — though that implies guilt, and I am not sorry about this at all — that I adore sexy, seductive, suave male vampires. Dracula, Damon, Lestat, Yorga, Jerry, Eric, Spike. When I watch a vampire film I like the fantasy, I want the beauty, the ritual, the illusion, the dance, the immortal kiss. Scary, evil bloodsuckers like the ones in From Dusk Till Dawn and 30 Days of Night are fine. Non-glamorous but romantic vampires like the ones in Let the Right One In are interesting. Action vamps like Seline and Blade can be cool. But the idea of vampirism as a disease and an isolating pestilence really doesn't do it for me. While I appreciate and admire movies like Martin, Cronos, The Addiction, and Habit from an academic standpoint, they're not the ones I'll be watching again and again.
Having said that, the latest of the latter, Midnight Son, is one of the better of its ilk and I do recommend it be seen — it may not be classic style vampire film, but it is a good horror with some smart, well-thought out scenarios and characters who explore this 'what if?' world with pathos and striking realism.
Jacob (Zak Kilberg) is a young loner who finds himself even more reclusive as he becomes a man. As he matures so too do his strange predelictions: he shuns the sun more than ever; bloody raw steak no longer satisfies and he's soon skipping the meat altogether; his sexual needs become more than just act of life-affirmation, but a disturbing desire for the extinguishment of it. Jacob doesn't live in a coffin and he doesn't have fangs, nor does he don a cape or turn into a winged bat… nope, he's a security guard working for minimum wage and doing the best he can to simply exist. But his addiction won't let him be.
Very well-acted, beautifully shot, and most of all: deftly directed, Midnight Son is the perfect quiet, slow-boil existential chiller to watch alone at night, quiet and in a contemplative mood. As luck would have it, you can settle in for this winter winner when Midnight Son premieres on FEARnet on Saturday evening.
= = =
Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson