I recently caught THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN (2008), a horror movie directed by Ryuhei Kitamura and based on Clive Barker’s 1984 short story of the same name. A photographer (Leon, played by Bradley Cooper), roaming New York’s streets at night in search of capturing the heart of the city, stumbles upon a serial killer. He stalks the killer, who slaughters his victims in the subway using a giant hammer, and quickly finds himself a participant rather than an observer.
The movie starts off promising with Leon living with his girlfriend (played by Leslie Bibb), who arranges an introduction with a gallery owner (Brooke Shields). The owner tells Leon his photographs are strong but don’t capture the real New York. He travels the streets looking for images, and stumbles upon the serial killer (played by Vinnie Jones).
What follows are a series of set pieces of dramatic character changes and gory slaughters held together by string, making for very light horror fare (personally, I find gratuitous gore produced by characters I don’t care about kind of boring). Lots of irritating things happen, such as a long and drawn out fight while the girlfriend, who up until then had proved herself a likable, tough and resourceful character, seems to disappear uselessly into the background. To compare, John Carpenter pulls off light horror fare very well because there is an integrity to it, and his stories hold together. Kitamura’s MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN doesn’t. The result for me is overwrought and kind of silly.
Check it out if you’re in the mood for something light and gory.