Jeremy Gardener’s After Midnight is a horror film that’s perfect date night fodder. It fits being a creature feature, romantic drama and small-town thriller all in to a 90ish minute package.
The film follows Hank (played by Gardner) and girlfriend Abby (Brea Grant) from the first throws of love, to a decade later where Hank finds a mysterious ‘be back some time’ note left by Abby. Their house is run down, surrounded by luscious swamp foliage typical to Florida. Which makes the fact that a creature tries to break into the house in Abby’s absence creepy yet predictable (in a good way).
The trend for making horror films represent more (the likes of Babadook or It Comes At Night), has certainly soaked its way into this film. The horror element is almost an aside to the character-driven plot. Whilst a lot of times this leaves films with people googling afterwards ‘such and such film ending explained’, After Midnight’s punch is impactful.
The performances are endearing, and whilst sometimes the script falls a bit off the rails, the relationships and communities are believable. As hybrid films go, this is a success. It will bring you joy one moment, fear the next, with a chucklesome finish. To top it all off, the cinematography is just gorgeous and the strong use of colour and creature design make this simple movie so much more.
This is a love story that’s accessible to your spouse who either has the Nightmare on Elm Street Boxset, or makes you watch The Notebook every darn Valentine’s Day.
After Midnight is now available to stream on Arrow Video.
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