Into the Dark (2018– )
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Midnight Kiss 

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Midnight Kiss follows a group of longtime gay best friends and their straight female bestie as they head to a beautiful desert home to celebrate New Year's Eve. One of their annual ... See full summary »

Director:

Carter Smith
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Scott Evans ... Joel
Adam Faison ... Dante
Lukas Gage ... Logan
Ayden Mayeri ... Hannah
Augustus Prew ... Cameron
Chester Lockhart ... Zachary
Will Westwater ... Ryan
Colin McCalla ... Go-Go Diego
Jonnathan Reinhardt Jonnathan Reinhardt ... Jonnie Reinhart (as Jonnie Reinhart)
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Storyline

Midnight Kiss follows a group of longtime gay best friends and their straight female bestie as they head to a beautiful desert home to celebrate New Year's Eve. One of their annual traditions is to play a game called Midnight Kiss, a sexy but ultimately dangerous challenge to find that special someone to help you ring in the New Year. As friendships have grown strained with secrets, jealousy and resentment, the group faces another challenge when a sadistic killer wants in on the game. Relationships are put to the test and truths are revealed as the night turns into a fight for survival.

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Genres:

Horror | Thriller

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Details

Official Sites:

Hulu

Release Date:

27 December 2019 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA

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Runtime:

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User Reviews

 
Midnight Miss is more like it.
1 January 2020 | by Cameo87See all my reviews

As a lifelong horror fan (with a particular affinity for slashers) and a gay man, I was willing to give Midnight Kiss a shot. The Into the Dark series has been hit-or-miss for me (mostly miss), but I'm a sucker for holiday-themed horror.

Unfortunately, this has the same issues as most gay-themed movies/TV shows (namingly Queer as Folk, Looking, the Eating Out franchise, etc), which is that the characters are promiscuous narcissists who engage in recreational drug use. Yes, I understand that this is a generally accurate portrayal of the majority of gay men, but that doesn't make it any less predictable. This film is just perpetuating negative stereotypes that encourage homophobia and frankly, it's disappointing. It's a movie about despicable people doing detestable things. Even the recently-engaged couple (who I'm assuming were monogamous until this point) is willing to participate in the group's annual tradition of hooking up with random strangers, only to dispose of them like used condoms come dawn. No wonder some anonymous psycho is intent on killing them.

Having said that, the actors do an admirable job of infusing their characters with some relatability. In particular, the scenes between Cameron and Hannah (portrayed convincingly by Augustus Prew and Ayden Mayeri) came off very natural. Even if neither of these characters had any redeemable traits, I bought their relationship. These two seemed like lifelong friends and had an easy, charming rapport. Did I care if either of them made it to the end? Not particularly. But I appreciate the actors for attempting to elevate the material.

The only loose link in the chain was Chester Lockhart (Zachary), who portrays perhaps the most stereotypical character in the movie. Speaking from personal experience, a lot of gay actors playing gay characters try to play up the gayness, but it's unnecessary. Also, Zackary's wardrobe was ridiculously unflattering. The costumer must've had a vendetta against them. Thankfully, they are conspicuously absent during most of the group scenes, so we're spared from having to suffer through their stilted portrayal for too long.

Which brings me to the script. I'm aware these Into the Dark features are typically made with a quick turnaround, but another draft or two would've fixed some issues. Don't get me wrong; I love a bad low-budget B-movie. I have a fondness for cheap Roger-Corman-style productions made strictly for drive-in's, grindhouses and video stores (in particular, movies like Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, Nightmare Sisters, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Slumber Party Massacre and really, anything starring Linnea Quigley or Brinke Stevens). But this film seems to be taking a more realistic approach to the story, so the whole whodunnit aspect could've used more thought. The killer's identity is painfully obvious from the get-go, despite a scene designed to trick the audience into thinking they're in jeopardy. The horror elements are also shamelessly pillaged from better movies like Psycho, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Sorority Row, Halloween II and Scream. Some may call it "homage", but I call it lazy and uninspired.

If you're looking for gratuitous male nudity and sex, you came to the right place. These guys take a lot of showers and the sequence at the nightclub basically turns into an orgy. Speaking of which, I don't really get the killer's outfit... why are they wearing a leather BDSM mask? None of the characters are established as having this kind of fetish, so it feels out-of-place.

I will say the production quality is decent and the directing is solid. From a technical standpoint, this is a well-made and cohesive movie. I just didn't find it particularly entertaining. As a gay horror fan in his 30's, I'm the target demographic for this and it just didn't work for me.

I would highly recommend last year's NYE episode "New Year, New You" over this. If you're looking for a fun New Years Eve slasher, give Terror Train (1980) a shot. It's a classic from the golden era of slashers. If you're interested in seeing a gay slasher, go watch Hellbent (4004), if you can find it.

Like the random guys the characters hook up with, I wanted to kick Midnight Kiss to the curb once I was through with it.


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