Thursday, February 26, 2009

Review: The Midnight Meat Train

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
Genre: Horror
Format: Blu-ray
Director: Ryuhei Kitamura

The Midnight Meat Train is yet another movie that I wanted to watch in the theater but due to its poor distributions, I had to wait for its home release. I had high expectations for the movie because it is based on a short story by Clive Barker though the selection of director for it was rather odd. I have never been a fan of Ryuhei Kitamuira's supposed "superior" works in the form of Versus and Alive.

The movie is about a photographer who is in the midst of moving up in the art world due to his keen nature to capture the images of rugged reality of New York living through his camera lens. Unfortunately, his ambition to become a premier artist turns into a violent obsession: During one of his late night photography-hunting sessions, he encounters a man who could possibly be a serial killer who likes to kill late-night subway train passengers. Determined to proof the man a murderer, he begins stalking the man and typical of a Clive Barker tale, this resulted into something incredible nasty for everyone involved.

After watching the movie, I concluded that having Kitamura in this project ended up being a beneficial decision as he was able to transform the city, especially during the subway scenes, into a dark place filled with supernatural aura and energy. The murders that take place inside the train are strangely creative in both the camera work and the unique demise of each victim. The film has a spectacular albeit morbid ending, which is refreshing to watch and is the high probability of why it didn't get released in mainstream theaters. I truly enjoy the fact that Kitamura didn't rely on cheap scare tactics because the movie has zero jump moments but the sense of dread and fear are still remarkably there.

The problem I do have with the movie is its heavy reliance on CG blood... and CG trains! They both look a little cheap and I just don't understand why they rather pay more money to show blood spurts on the screen when they could have just purchased some cheap red syrup and get wet and wild with that stuff. Other than that complaint, The Midnight Meat Train is a fun ride, with a little loophole in logic, and is definitely far from being pedestrian.

RATING: 4 out of 5

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