Cool and creepy little seen thriller, well worthwhile
Good example of a worthy little seen film here, not only is Midnight Fear pretty decent stuff the cast gives it some good credentials for b movie lovers. But first the story, we have a drunk and washed up sheriff investigating a nasty murder, while at the same time a nice young lady and her nerdishly inappropriate housemate are visited by an intense deaf mute and his edgy brother. This is just the starting point of course, but it's a little more than I knew before I sat down to watch it, and its one of those films where its best to just let things unfold. Seeing where these two plot strands are going and how they come together is all part of the intrigue, well it intrigued me at any rate. Director William (Blacula) Crain lets things quietly bubble, slow pace and isolation are the most prominent weapons in this ones arsenal. There's a likable sense of control to the way things slowly come to the boil, interrupted every now and again with jolts of violence presented in offbeat, near arty fashion. A little blood, some shock value, arresting blips that mostly help to crank up the unease. Actors drive the film, we have David Carradine as the boozy sheriff and it's a fine turn, a tired and ragged demeanour wrapped about a keen mind comes out very nicely. As the deaf mute brother Page Fletcher conveys constant unrest, boiling over into torment with an unpredictable power, while Craig Wasson does a good job as his more talkative, nervy sibling. It's a nicely written role, his occasionally slightly awkward chat never comes across contrived, just someone trying to fill a void in communication, its sympathetic even when he comes across menacing. August West is suitably fresh and likable as the imperilled young Jenny, while Evan Richards does the right part obnoxious, part naïve moves as her housemate David. The isolation of the settings is mirrored in the characters, everyone is a bit disconnected from the people around them, the whole thing has a "not quite right" pallor to it, and since the nastier stuff is offscreen its hard to ever quite settle down. The approach is cunning though, setting everyone up for an intense climax that rains twisted jabs and comes right to the edge of off the rails. It definitely could have been a little better controlled but the way things go down on screen is quiet enough to offset the hysteria of events, so the film doesn't quite turn to schlock. It does shock though, unpredictable and cruel. I was rather taken aback in fact and the whole business takes the film from workable suspenser to somewhat of a minor humdinger all in all. Definitely worth a look if it sounds appealing I'd say.
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