One day while being home sick and scrolling through my Facebook news feed, a post caught my eye. It read something along the lines of, “If Creepshow and Black Mirror had a baby then The Midnight Matinee would be it.” Can you say, “Color me intrigued?” I noticed that it had just been released on Amazon Prime and I’m a huge sucker for horror anthologies so, needless to say, I took my handy dandy remote and pressed play! Was found footage film The Midnight Matinee the right choice for my sick movie choice of the day? Let’s discuss!
The Midnight Matinee was written and directed by Justin Doescher, who won the first ever Amazon Video Direct Stars Program Award in 2016 for his first directorial debut The Break-In. The Midnight Matinee premiered on Amazon Prime on May 23, 2017. It currently holds a 6.2 rating on IMDb.com and I’m pretty sure when word of mouth gets around about this film, the numbers will be a lot higher!
Official synopsis of The Midnight Matinee:
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to The Midnight Matinee. You will be entertained by five stories of deceit, deception, and of course… horror. So enter if you dare. And sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Let’s break up this review into story segments. First up: “Open Sea!”
“Open Sea” is about a guy and his girlfriend spending a day on their boat with their dog, when all of a sudden it becomes their worse nightmare. What intrigued me right off the bat is that they actually had a really cool effect for the end of this segment. Doescher and Maggie Tehan star in this Open Water-like thriller.
The next tale and my personal favorite of the film is called “Let Go.” It’s about a man Max (Shaun Woodland) who is moving on after his break-up and gets invited to become part of a Tinder-like dating app. The catch? It’s not good if someone doesn’t swipe right. I really enjoyed the premise of the story and felt like it could actually be a full length feature film. (Fingers crossed).
“Premonition” is the third story in The Midnight Matinee about a little girl that can see into the future concerning death. It has a fun little twist at the end of this horror short. Just because you can see into the future doesn’t exactly mean you are helpful. This one is a fun watch.
In the midst of all of the horror stories going on, Doescher gives us a little break with a story called “Frances.” This story felt like it might have been inspired by one of the storylines from a Grand Theft Auto game. Regardless, it’s still a fun, deceptive ride with a shocking ending. It is really impressive to see Doescher’s different skill sets play out in this relatively short 42 minutes long film.
The last and final segment is called “Night Night.” It’s about a boy who is afraid of this clown that he believes is haunting him. He tries to tell his father but dad won’t believe him. Look at the above picture – that’s not something I would want lurking around my bedroom! This one is the most terrifying of the five stories.
The Midnight Matinee may only be 42 minutes long but it is not short on action. The quirky way the film is set up like a late night movie is clever and takes you back to some classic horror stories. I believe that Doescher will be a force in whatever he sets his mind to. I can see him as a filmmaker that could make just about any kind of movie! This was absolutely worth my time!