Movie Review: Midnight Son (2011)

August 21, 2012

There are a lot of vampire flicks out there. Most suck and don’t even hold a candle to Dracula from more than 80 years ago. But I digress because good vampire flicks do turn up every now and then, and so now we turn our attention to 2011’s Midnight Son.

Written and directed by Scott Leberecht, Midnight Son follows Jacob (Zak Kilberg), a passive “night shift” security guard in L.A. with a skin disease which compels him to avoid sunlight. Jacob happens to be 24 years old, which is the age a friendly janitor (Tracey Walter) believes the human body is in its last changing stage. Jacob, of course, brushes off the idea that he’s turning into a butterfly, which might end up being a mistake.

There is a glimmer of light in Jacob’s sunless life in the form of a girl, Mary (Maya Parish) whom he met purchasing a Dum Dum. Jacob falls for Mary as she digs his weirdness, which is a little bit rare. Throw in a blood dealer (Jo D. Jonz), a detective (Larry Cedar) who thinks that Jacob is crazy, and a few bloody & burning bodies, and chaos ensues.

Midnight Son almost doesn’t work, largely because the relationship between the two main characters — Jacob and Mary — almost doesn’t work. Hell, their relationship was written to not work — they had a go at sex three times and failed each time! Be it by way of a bleeding nose, green eyes, or general insecurity, these two characters aren’t compatible in bed.

This movie is like the poster child of abstinence — if you try to have sex, something unpleasant might happen as you take your clothes off, so don’t even try.

Apart from the whole failing at sex thing, the relationship between Jacob and Mary seems off. To begin with, watching Midnight Son, I got the feeling that Mary was way too trusting. I totally get that if you’re drunk at a bar (neither of which was Mary), going home with a stranger might seem acceptable. But Jacob is obviously a little bit creepy, and any woman in their right mind would go on a few dates with him before entering the underground basement where he lives. So I don’t think that that resonates, but maybe it’s just me.

Otherwise, though, I think that those two were okay. I can’t knock Kilberg and Parish for their acting together because they did very well with the material given to them. In the end, that’s what saved their relationship.

There are some things which Midnight Son does really well. I mentioned the “blood dealer” a few paragraphs up, and that’s the most interesting thing about the flick. Humans serving and/or feeding vampires isn’t a new idea, infact it’s an idea you can find in most of the really good vampire flicks that I can think of.

Midnight Son puts a twist on it though, which is that humans can make money by selling illegal blood to vampires who don’t want to kill people. Again, Jo D. Jonz plays the dealer, and he does a great job. The role is well written and he runs with it, and there are a few scenes which Jonz makes really intense. In the end his character kind of jumps the shark, but that isn’t his fault. This movie does center around Kilberg and his character Jacob, however, and Jonz isn’t in a position to make the film work by himself. So how does Kilberg do?

I’m pleased to report that Kilberg plays a passive, weird, creepy, emo vampire going through metamorphosis well. I can’t be sure if Jacob was written that way or if Zak Kilberg (love his name, by the way) is a creep in real life, but either way he works for Midnight Son and the rest of the cast does too, even if some sex lives aren’t where they need to be.

I recommend catching this flick if you can. Midnight Son is a neat vampire flick with neat ideas despite some faults. I rented it from iTunes where it’s available in SD and 1080p HD, although I’m sure you can find it in other places if you keep an eye out for it.

Sidenote: The last “movie” I caught was Walther at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival last Thursday, so my perception of Midnight Son might be a tiny bet skewed since virtually every film in existence ever is Shakespearian comparably.

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