Written by: Wesley Thomas
Bradley Cooper did a horror movie? And I didn’t know? And he was impressive in the movie? A hat trick of yes.
Cooper plays a budding photographer gagging for his ‘big break’ into professional photography. After his friend hooks him up with a major contact, and asks him to go deeper into the dark, sinister side of photography, this leads him down a path so unnerving and dangerous, he’ll soon end up regretting it.
Suspense was practically stitched into the plot. As Bradley’s character Leon becomes obsessed with capturing moments of sheer terror and unsettling confrontation, he ends up catching the attention of a dangerous looking man, played by none other than Vinnie Jones.
Mr Jones, based on his exterior, looks the part, and played it remarkably well. I’ve found with some of his roles, when he talks and intends to threaten and intimidate, it breaks the realism. However, he didn’t utter a word throughout the whole movie. Which is explained in the epic climax.
As Leon becomes convinced this man is responsible for a series of subway killings, despite being armed with little evidence, he throws himself in harm’s way many times. This has the viewer gasping repeatedly, questioning his intellect and common sense. If you suspect a man is a killer, why follow him?
As I say, Cooper plays crazy well. Too well. You can almost feel the desperation. He is obsessed. Reckless. He has no regard for his own safety. I loved him in this role, and would love to see him branch out and star in more horror movies. He was superb.
On a content level, the gore is tremendous. Horror gore fiends will have a field day with this film. Blood and guts are just for starters. I found myself cringing many times, and I thought I was basically immune to cringing at anything in a horror movie, having seen thousands of them.
An odd observation, but I myself can get slightly OCD when it comes to angles and symmetry. So I had an usual respect that few will have for the shots in the movie. There were some excellent angle shots and symmetrical masterpieces.
And for the most part, the movie’s filter is dark and grungy, only adding to the disturbing, on-edge vibe that ‘The Midnight Meat Train’ exudes.
The subtle soundtrack only emphasizes this feel, working hand-in-hand with the colours, and strengthening the suspense. Horror movies can make the fatal mistake when incorporating a soundtrack. The loud boom suggests a surprise. Or a faster rhythm suggests something is coming. Here however, there were no clues or telltale signs that something was approaching. All shocks are unexpected. When Vinnie’s character locks eyes with Leon, we shudder. That dude is scary.
And then there is the ending. Wow. I literally felt my mouth drop and my eyes widen. I had made brief guesses as to how the movie would end. I in no way saw this coming. Serial killer, maybe. Sick fetish, maybe. The actual way it ended, never saw it coming. It smacks you between the peepers.