To call Midnight Son a vampire film would do the drama a disservice. Written and directed visual effects maestro turned filmmaker Scott Leberecht the film follows Jacob (Zak Kilberg) a young man who lives a solitary nocturnal life due to a rare skin disorder. The narrative kicks off as Jacob’s condition begins to worsen. Almost like a superhero discovering his powers, Jacob struggles to comprehend or accept the changes in his nature. Jacobs internal conflict is the central driving force of the film and is played perfectly by Kilberg who captures the classic Jekyll and Hyde duality of his character. Underpinning the story of Jacobs transformation is his relationship with Mary (Maya Parish). From there first meeting there is immediate chemistry between the leads, helped in no small part by well written dialogue as the two get to know each other.
As Jacob’s condition develops so does his relationship with Mary, providing a perfect catalyst for his inner struggle. It would be easy to compare the themes within the love story at the centre of Midnight Son to another more mainstream series of films (which will remain nameless). However the dark, realistic tone of the film along with scenes of both emotional depth and extreme violence set it apart from its peers as a grown-up drama first and genre film second. It’s no coincidence that Leberecht’s tight, direct script only uses the ‘V’ word once. At just ninety minutes the drama moves at a brisk pace and while its refreshing to see a movie get to the point in an age where more and more films are pushing the three hour mark, the quality on show here only made me wish the film was a little longer. An extra half an hour to the running time could have helped flesh out some of the supporting characters and made the ending that much more dramatic.
A well-acted and well-directed spin on a genre thats almost been done to death Midnight Son offers a small personal story driven by horror and suspense.
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