Saturday, October 24, 2009

31 days of Halloween: The Midnight Meat Train

The Midnight Meat Train is a 2008 horror film based off a short story by Clive Barker.

The film stars Bradley Cooper as Leon, Leslie Bibb as Maya, Brooke Shields as Susan and Vinnie Jones as Mahogany. The movie also features Roger Bart, Ted Raimi, Peter Jacobson, Barbara Eve Harris and Tony Curran.

Midnight Meat Train is a pretty disturbing film. Leon is a photographer who travels the city, and the subway, in the middle of the night trying to capture the "essence" of the city. Like all crazed artists, they're willing to sit and watch other people get harassed, assaulted, and as we later find, killed. Susan Hoff, one of those crazed artists convinces that Leon must venture out and get some "real" shots of the city. This starts a spiraling event in Leon's life which introduces him to the sadistic Mahogany, a butcher by day and night.

Leon suspects that Mahogany is killing people on the subway, and that a string of missing persons over the last century can be linked directly to him and whatever shady dealings that Mahogany is part of. What he eventually uncovers is enough to unravel his own life, and all who are around him as well.

I thought that the film was very moody, and unfolded quite well. In fact it's one of the better atmospheric films since, at least for me, The Ring. Leon's brush with the Meat Train begins to grow on him as the film progress, and he becomes more obsessed with what is going on. What I really liked about the acting was that Vinnie Jones finally plays someone quiet - breaking from the usual loud, obnoxious character he's usually associated with playing. The ending was wholly unexpected when I first started watching, but the feeling of dread as I progressed through the film made the eventual ending more and more obvious to me, though I hoped it wouldn't actually happen. Clive Barker is one screwed up individual.

You can catch this film on FearNet On Demand for free.

*** out of *****

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