Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 7.5
Based on the infamous Clive Barker’s short story of the same name, The Midnight Meat Train involves photographer Leon risking everything to hunt down a butcher he discovered on the subway.
Basically, you have to be a fan of the Clive Barker style of horror in order to really enjoy this movie. I am, and thus I did. But that means watching things like horrific slimy monsters and tongues being torn out to be eaten by the bad guy, chains that tear off flesh and pins on the bad guys face. Blood is flung across the room in most scenes and hits the camera a lot. And of course, in true Clive Barker fashion, this is a movie that falls into that little-known category that I call The Villain Wins. Other gems such as In the Mouth of Madness fall into this category as well, but Barker’s style of writing and movie making almost guarantee him a spot every time. And hey, I’m great with that. Great and monstrous bad guys really can have you cheering if they play the part damn well, just look at Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.
Vinnie Jones, of Snatch and X-Men: The Last Stand fame, does a fine job as Mahogany, the original butcher. He only has one line, hell one word, for the entire movie. Nevertheless, that mans’ facial expressions have a tendency to convey more than entire paragraphs. Bradley Cooper who stars as photographer Leon isn’t what you would expect, but delivers a performance that can make you feel his desperation and angst. And Leslie Bibb of Iron Man note as Leon’s fiancé Maya is pretty good also. A strong woman who can follow her man literally into a black tunnel deserves respect.
It’s not hard, if you’re a friend of Barker’s brand of horror and his writing style, to guess the ending. That doesn’t make it any less cool. There are at least a few questions left unanswered, but that is common with Barker too. And besides, it leaves room for a sequel!
In this twilight of lame horror remakes, Clive Barker reminds us once again that yes, there is still some originality left.