Thursday, March 7, 2013

After Midnight Movie Review – Like Trilogy of Terror

Runtime: 90 minutes
Release Date: November 3, 1989
Rating: R
Director: Jim Wheat, Ken Wheat

Two college girls decide to take a class on fear, though one of the girls keeps having visions and nightmares that make her think this might be a bad idea. After the professor makes one of their classmates literally pee his pants in front of everyone, the stereotypical jock decides to get even when the professor treats his students to a night in an old house. "After Midnight" then segues into several shorter films.

There are a few different stories here: one involves a group of friends who get lost in the middle of the night, one surrounds a couple who wander into an abandoned house after their car breaks down, and one tells the story of what happens to the professor and student. My favorite story is the last one, "All Night Messenger."

Alex works at a company that records messages and passes them along to clients. When she comes back to work after vacation, her boss lets her know that she had to fire some other workers, so Alex is stuck working the phones all by herself. Things seem fine, until a random man calls with a weird message for a woman. When Alex calls the woman to pass along the message, she breaks down and tells her that the man keeps stalking her. The man then decides to start stalking Alex, leading to some truly spooky moments.

I really loved this segment, and it's not just because it stars Marg Helgenberger and her former husband Alan Rosenberg. No, there is just something really entertaining about this one. It starts off on a lighter note and quickly turns into this dark and interesting story. It's also one of those films that you can scream at the television. Why doesn't she take the time to call downstairs to the security guard and warn him that someone is threatening her? Why doesn't the other woman call the cops and tell them that some stranger keeps calling her and stalking her?

The other stories aren't nearly as strong as "Night Messenger." Most of the stories in "After Midnight" are just ordinary 1980's stories that you watch once and forget about, but damn it if that one story isn't worth watching again and again.

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