After Midnight [Fantastic Fest 2019]

September 21, 2019135 min

One of my favorite things in life is the discovering of a movie that takes me places I never knew I wanted to go. So often we know what we are getting into, but I don’t know how many things in life I would go into blindly, but that’s my preference when it comes to movies. That is exactly what I did for the new film After Midnight written by Jeremy Gadner (The Battery), only knowing that it was a love story that just happen to have a monster in it.

Hank (Jeremy Gardner) and Abby (Brea Grant) are the perfect couple who are in love, but time often is no one’s friend. After ten years together, Hank finds a note from Abby saying that she needed some time and Hank is left with questions he doesn’t really have any answers for. Adding to his dilemma is a nightly visitor to his house that is a beast unlike anything he has seen before. While Hank is dealing with that, he is also trying to keep up a front that everything at home is good with Abby to her brother Shane (Justin Benson) and his friend Wade (Hank Zebrowski), and the rest of the small town they live in. Getting everyone to believe things are good with Hank and Abby is easy, but that isn’t the case to the few he tells his monster story to, as everyone has an explanation, that of course is everything except the actual one. It is real or is it just in his head? As the saying that goes “love finds a way” is put to the test.

I am going to go ahead and not burry the lead, I loved this movie. Now that I got that out of the way, I am going to tell you why. While life often imitates art, finding life in art, specifically movies is a little harder to find. Don’t get me wrong it exist, but most of what we get is things that are by and large lacking anything human about it. After Midnight is not lacking that, in fact it has it in abundance. Love can be a complicated thing, but when we find we want to hold on to it as long as we can and with this movie you feel that like you are going through it yourself. Add to that something a little extra, in this case a monster, and you got something that just is magical. Gardner and Grant are fantastic as the leads and the film builds up to an amazing twelve minute single take that you can’t take your eyes off of. This is the type of movie that begs to be shared with everyone you can, as it really brings all the fears both mental and physical will make you a fan of whatever the filmmakers do from now on.

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