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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Unhappy Holidays
by Betty Jo Tucker

Midnighters begins at a New Year’s Eve party where we already sense that Lindsey and Jeff Pittman have a troubled marriage. Both of them are drunk, but they decide to drive home anyway. Not a wise decision at all! Jeff is at the wheel when they hit someone. Next bad decision: they take the body home, planning to do something after they sober up. Before they can do that, Lindsey’s sister Hannah arrives and finds that the body in the garage is not a dead one. Gunfire ensues.

From this situation on, bad things keep happening – and we are taken on a thriller ride of surprises that don’t seem to stop, most of which involve the root of all evil: MONEY.

I can see why Midnighters won the following awards at the 2017 Horrible Imaginings Film Festival (HIFF): Best Feature Film for director Julius Ramsay, Best Screenplay for Alston Ramsay, and Best Actress for Alex Essoe.  

This thriller includes horrible happenings, for sure!            

Beatings, torture in "Midnighters"

may upset some frightened viewers.

Four characters have lost their souls.

And that’s the way the story goes.

 

No holiday peace, calm and joy

nor wonder for a Christmas toy.

Nightmarish lust for greed we see

propels a plot of misery.

 

Watch twists and turns offer suspense

while loyalties lie on the fence.

Will anyone manage to survive?

Who is worthy to live and thrive?

 

With actors at their very best,

this film gave me a night’s UNREST.

See it if you feel brave enough.

But, believe me, it’s ultra-rough.

About those actors, I think the casting is perfect. Essoe (The Maestro) anchors the film as Lindsey, a wife who’s not very happy with her out-of-work husband. Her facial expressions show everything here. Dylan McTee (Sweet/Vicious TV series) plays hubby Jeff with just the right kind of disappointing attitude and wishful thinking. Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs) adds spice to the film as Hannah, Lindsey’s sister, who harbors some important secrets. And Ward Horton (Annabelle: Creation) turns in a terrific performance as a detective – or is he? To me, Horton comes across as is the personification of Shakespeare’s “one may smile and smile and be a villain” line from Hamlet.    

It’s obvious that director Julius Ramsay (The Walking Dead TV series) and his screenwriting brother Alston Ramsay (first-time feature script) work together well. I think we will be hearing more from this filmmaking pair in the future.   

(Released by IFC. Not rated by MPAA.)

For more information about Midnighters, go to the Rotten Tomatoes or IMDb website.


                                                                                                                                                                               
 
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