Movie Review

Film Review: The Midnight Meat Train

Horror lovers and gore hounds rejoice; your pleas have not gone unheard. The Midnight Meat Train delivers on its promise and then some. The Midnight Meat Train is well shot, probably reminding some of the grimy shimmer of 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Midnight Meat Train has a intimidating antagonist in the form of Mahogany (Vinne Jones), a likable protagonist, Leon Kauffman (Bradley Cooper), and the prerequisite eye candy, Leon’s girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb), though in the second and third act of The Midnight Meat Train, Maya actually becomes an active participant in the film.

Leon is a photography attempting to capture New York City through his lens, the real New York City that has never been captured before. Leon is told by Susan Hoff (Brooke Shields), that if he wants to be featured in her gallery, he can’t leave a great shot; he has to follow it through to its natural conclusion. That is exactly what Leon does when he begins venturing into the subway terminals of New York City late at night. He sees exactly what Susan is looking for and then some. Leon is given the opportunity during this period to show his street smarts, save a damsel in distress and finds the photographic subject that may put him on the map. Unbeknownst to Leon, he has entered the wake of serial killer Mahogany and the human meat he batters into chum after 2 a.m. begins eating away at Leon and every substantial facet of his life.

Mahogany’s kills are exquisite in their gore, brutality and cinematography. If the camera was not placed where it is during these scenes, they would not be as memorable. Director Ryuhei Kitamura actually took a cue from the Jaws modus operandi of less is more during some of the kills, engaging the viewer’s mind and imagination to fill in what is not seen. The Midnight Meat Train falters in the end of its third act with a plot reveal that is completely unnecessary but it’s not as plot altering or detrimental as the one present in Haute Tension. The Midnight Meat Train would have been a more structurally sound horror film if the reveal had been excised and one more in line with what had happened up to that point had been included. By trying to add something different, possibly in an attempt to differentiate the film from the pack, The Midnight Meat Train is advertently hurt in the process.

Ryuhei Kitamura’s The Midnight Meat Train, based on a story of the same name in horror auteur Clive Baker’s “Books of Blood” collection, is a good horror film that tittered on being great if it weren’t for its final plot reveal. The Midnight Meat Train is a stylish horror film that almost lives up to its full potential. Even though it doesn’t quite do that in the end, we can all thank Kitamura for the inclusion of striking Asian actress/model Nora and a horror film that is not a retread.

Rating: 8.5/10

If you enjoyed this review, subscribe to our full RSS feed or by e-mail to get informed when we post new ones.

 

About the author

Rollo Tomasi

A Political Science and MBA grad who started FilmBook during an eCommerce B-School course in 2008. Cinema and TV addict. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. In addition to writing for FilmBook, he also edits the copy published on the website, manages its writing staff, manages the back-end operations, site finances, its social network accounts, and works with publicists, actors, and companies on press coverage and promotions. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.com and Trending Awards.com.

  • The ending did come out of left field, esp since the hints were taking us a different direction. I attributed it to the mind of Clive Barker and didn’t dwell. Easy to do since the rest of the film had me amped.

    Reel Whores last blog post..Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 5

  • The ending did come out of left field, esp since the hints were taking us a different direction. I attributed it to the mind of Clive Barker and didn’t dwell. Easy to do since the rest of the film had me amped.

    Reel Whores last blog post..Week of Reel WHorror!: Day 5

  • My eyes widen during some of the kills. It was about time. The last time I saw something as intense was The Hills Have Eyes remake, the finger scene in Rest Stop: “Oh, you pervert” and a few others (the mom/dad reunion scene in 28 Weeks Later).

  • My eyes widen during some of the kills. It was about time. The last time I saw something as intense was The Hills Have Eyes remake, the finger scene in Rest Stop: “Oh, you pervert” and a few others (the mom/dad reunion scene in 28 Weeks Later).

  • I loved the Ted Raimi death scene best. THHE and 28WL are both good sources for the intense moments.

    My sis told me to avoid Rest Stop like the plague. Was she wrong?

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: Music…Mood Music

  • I loved the Ted Raimi death scene best. THHE and 28WL are both good sources for the intense moments.

    My sis told me to avoid Rest Stop like the plague. Was she wrong?

    Reel Whores last blog post..MMM: Music…Mood Music

  • “THHE and 28WL are both good sources for the intense moments.”
    Oh yes, definitely.

    Was Ted Raimi one of that trio?

    Rest Stop is weak with one or two good, fraked up moments. If you have NetFlix, throw it in the bottom of your queue and let it arrive by mail one day.

  • “THHE and 28WL are both good sources for the intense moments.”
    Oh yes, definitely.

    Was Ted Raimi one of that trio?

    Rest Stop is weak with one or two good, fraked up moments. If you have NetFlix, throw it in the bottom of your queue and let it arrive by mail one day.

  • Yep it was Raimi’s eye rolling on the subway floor.

    Ha! If Rest Stop is at the bottom of my NFQ, it’ll be years before I see it!

  • Yep it was Raimi’s eye rolling on the subway floor.

    Ha! If Rest Stop is at the bottom of my NFQ, it’ll be years before I see it!

  • You can catch it for free on the Sci-Fi channel. They edit out some of the good stuff though.

    I’ve got a review for Let The Right One In coming up soon.

  • You can catch it for free on the Sci-Fi channel. They edit out some of the good stuff though.

    I’ve got a review for Let The Right One In coming up soon.

Mega Menu

Send this to friend