Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

I remember seeing the trailer for this years ago, just before it came out, and the person sat next to me just burst out laughing with "That's the title of an awful porn film if I've ever heard one" when the title screen appeared. And it stuck with me. I've never been able to consider that this was an actual horror film that wasn't a joke.

That was, until today. There's nothing special about why, I just saw on a list of horror movies that it had a pre-superstar Bradley "Hasn't set a foot wrong since starting Silver Linings Playbook" Cooper in it.

If you're able to get past the innuendo, Midnight Meat Train is a very literal title. There's a train. It runs in the middle of the night. And there's a certain kind of meat involved on said train. If you've ever seen a horror film, chances are you can figure out that it's not beef.

To be fair to the film, it's pretty solid on the most part. It's very standard, but it's solid. Bradley Cooper's performance as a photographer involving missing people carries it mostly, alongside an otherwise mediocre cast in an urban legend come to life. Vinnie Jones co-stars, if you can call an all-psyical and zero-verbal performance a "starring" role.

Fans of the genre won't be disappointed in the explicitness of some of the horror. One scene depicts a butchering that most will watch through their fingers; extended, locked-off shots focus on some body horror that'd make Saw franchise directors gag a little. Nothing really gets held back in that department, and the film really kicks it up into the highest gear right at the end with some crazy changes of pace as the film veers into ridiculousness.

Midnight Meat Train is a fast and firm encounter with some incredibly explicit acts that really earn it its 18/Adult rating. Its lack of inhibitions and pounding pace that ramps up in intensity before delivering an ultimately disappointing ending will leave viewers feeling a little disappointed in themselves for enjoying it.

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