Craig Barber - Nick
Liz Hedgepeth - Taylor
Ryan Dunn - Steve
Tony Frejer - Professor Carpenter
Jake Lief - Midnight Phantom/Radio Announcer Voice
Genre - Horror/Slasher
Running Time - 7 Minutes
Score - 3.5 Howls Outta 4
If you're like me, then you've become very disillusioned with modern American horror. I mean, look at it! Torture porn? Unnecessary sequels made strictly for cash? Remakes up the ass? Horror fans are tired of being given crappy films that are only made so film studios can shove a wad of cash in their greedy pockets.
So where have we been looking for good horror? In other countries or the American independent scene. European, Latin American, and Asian horror have become the source of good material for us to be terrified by. The independent scene is a risk most of the time, but at least these films are made for the love of horror, not because of cash. Sometimes when you're tired of watching crap, you just gotta make something good yourself.
That's what fellow horror movie reviewer/future filmmaker Siko Mike has done. Like me, he's been tired of the shit being forced onto horror fans by Hollywood. So he decided to make his own horror film as an attempt to bring back the horror we all missed so much. Debuting on Halloween, Siko Mike posted his short film, MIDNIGHT SILENCE, on YouTube for the world to see. Knowing the history behind the story of the film through many conversations with him, Siko Mike has created a nice homage to 80s slashers - showing that he has the potential to give us something great later on.
Some nutty kid killed a few people and was locked up in a mental asylum. Twenty years after this fact, a college class discusses what has been called "Midnight Silence", wondering what made this kid do what he did. Was it because he was insane? Was it because he was pure evil? Or is there something more sinister?
Unfortunately, the kids don't really take the thing seriously. One person in particular, Nick (Craig Barber), pretty much shakes it off so he can spend Spring Break with his honey, Liz (Liz Hedgepeth). What they don't know is that some guy wearing a blank white mask plans on killing again. Will they survive? Will he be wearing a sheet, disgusing himself as a ghost? Will he get his eye poked with a hanger while the victims hide in a closet?
Oh wait...this isn't HALLOWEEN. It's MIDNIGHT SILENCE!!
Even though the last line in my plot synopsis is me being a smartass, MIDNIGHT SILENCE is undoubtedly inspired by John Carpenter's classic HALLOWEEN. From the black white mask that you can project anything on, to the backstory itself, to the professor whose last name happens to be Carpenter - it's not hard to see. Still, I rather take a homage of HALLOWEEN than another remake of it. So it's all good with me.
MIDNIGHT SILENCE is inspired by a short story written by Siko Mike. Due to the limited time and short budget, the film isn't as long as it should be. It's an extremely well made 7 minute film, don't get me wrong, but this is the type of movie that deserves to be at least 80 minutes. It's probably the only negative I can really give the film because I know first hand what Siko Mike wanted to do with this film. He does plan on remaking the film into his true vision sometime down the line, which will be an interesting thing to see since this short film has a lot of promise.
There's nothing complex about the story. Kid kills. Kid, now an adult, escapes asylum to kill again. College students pretty much dismiss the story and are preoccupied with themselves to see the danger of the situation. Killer strikes. It's your standard slasher film, but shortened in 7 minutes. The dialogue is believable. The characters don't annoy me at all. They're developed well enough in 7 minutes to where I can get a sense of who they basically are. Siko Mike wrote a nice short script that is just a drop of what this film truly intends to be. I look at it as a teaser for something bigger in the future. And the future is pretty bright with this one.
The SFX by Jake Lief is good for a low budget. There's not a lot of it, but we do get blood on our computer screens, which is always nice in the horror arena. The music by Brandon Davis is very nice, giving the film a very creepy atmosphere. There was a lot attention given to these areas, which is always nice to see.
Siko Mike directs MIDNIGHT SILENCE very well for an amateur. The dude has a vision and uses it quite well. It's simple directing that's not too sylish to overcompensate for the low budget. The editing is good. My favorite shot is when the Midnight Phantom first makes his appearance. It's obviously taken from HALLOWEEN and HALLOWEEN II when The Shape's mask emerges from the dark background to scare viewers. It's so subtle that I think it's a beautiful directing technique. Siko Mike does a nice job and he's only gonna improve.
The acting was good as well. You can tell all the actors are not professionals, but it's sad to say that they are better than certain A-list celebrities in big-budgeted films. They all gave natural performances and never overdid it. I did think the professor was pretty funny. That fake punch sequence made me laugh. It's a student film, so I wasn't expecting Oscar-caliber work. What I got here was more than fine.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE HIDING FROM THAT WHITE MASKED PERSON STARING THROUGH MY WINDOW
- "All people have a darkness in their personality." If you're Michael Jackson, you just bleach that away. Then it's Casper forever!
- The Midnight Phantom killed everyone at the stroke of midnight. I know where the wacko is coming from. There's a lot of stroking going on at my house every midnight as well.
- Steve is both a dick and an asshole. Well if that's the case, he can just go fuck himself!
- Nick wonders who still uses a radio. No kidding. After listening to a Jonas Brothers song for the first time, I took off my purity ring and quit altogether.
THE FINAL HOWL
MIDNIGHT SILENCE shows a film that has potential when it's film to its actual length. But for now, it's only 7 minutes - and while that's too short for a film like this, MIDNIGHT SILENCE is surprisingly well made and shows a lot of promise. Siko Mike is gonna have a great future if he continues to make films like MIDNIGHT SILENCE. As a future filmmaker myself, I hope to contribute with him one of these days and create the ultimate Fright Fest. But he's doing very well on his own and I've very proud of him. To all my fellow reviewers - spread the word on MIDNIGHT SILENCE. Siko Mike deserves it!
Siko Mike's YouTube Page [You can see MIDNIGHT SILENCE here]
Midnight Silence Official MySpace