The Horror Honeys: Slasher Hexmas ~ Enjoy Your Next Midnight Subway Ride!

Slasher Hexmas ~ Enjoy Your Next Midnight Subway Ride!

A Revenge Honey Slasher Hexmas Review by Linnie

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Sometimes you watch a film, and you think, "CRIPES! Why don't more people talk about this movie?" And then you look at the title of the film and think, "Oh. That's probably why." Based on a short story by Clive Barker, The Midnight Meat Train has everything going for it: Vinnie Jones as a silent and terrifying villain, buckets of blood and gore, tension, a GREAT hook, and Bradley Cooper before he was BRADLEY COOPER. But damn. That title tho.

Just ask Hannibal. We ARE all meat, you know.
All that being said, ignore the off-putting title and trust me when I say that MMT (as it will henceforth be known because of blech) is one of the best slasher films to come out in the 00s. Don't believe me? Ted Raimi begs to differ.

I've got my eye on you! And some blood too. Sorry about that.

You can glare at me, Bradley. In French, please.
The Plot: We open on a random man slipping and sliding in a LOT of blood on a subway car. I mean a LOT of blood. Bathory-level blood. SMASH CUT. We meet Leon (Cooper), a skilled photographer, and his girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb), a pair of adorables living in a way too nice apartment. Leon's obsession with the darkest side of New York City (and becoming famous) leads him to the subway at night, where he happens to cross paths with Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) a silent but elegant serial killer. Leon's artistic impulses and his desire for justice are tearing at one another as he continues to follow Mahogany against everyone's advice. Just what is Mahogany up to? And will Leon be able to stop him, or will he become one of his victims?

 I am STILL terrified of the subway at night because of MMT.
The first thing you notice about MMT is that director RyĆ»hei Kitamura seems to share Leon's obsession with the darkest and most unpleasant parts of the city (though funnily enough, the film was filmed in Los Angeles, so, take that LA). The majority of the film is shot in shades of gray, emphasizing the grime and the dirt on every surface. Nothing is spotless in this version of the city, except for the shiny and chrome (WITNESS!) subway car where Mahogany plies his trade. The sparkling surfaces make it even more effective when the blood begins to splatter, a horrifying and slightly disgusting fact that the creative team plays to its fullest potential.

And boom goes the meat mallet.
The cast of MMT is about as brilliant as a film like this can get as well: Cooper, Bibb, Jones, Roger Bart, Brooke Shields... There isn't a single false note among the actors and it helps keep the tension at its peek for the entirety of the film. Cooper, especially, knows how to work a horror film, and it would be wonderful if he could shake loose his blood pact to David O. Russell for a while in order to return to films like this. Maybe not quite like this, because Oscar nominee, but come on. HORROR IS AMAZING, BRADLEY!

File under Reason #8749 that I'm a vegetarian.
Because MMT is based on a work by Clive Barker, there is a fabulous bit of supernatural grotesquery right at the end that will make you question not only the entirety of the film, but just how much Barker knows about human existence. But more than that, MMT is about the danger of ambition at all costs, the fetishisizing of the poor and disenfranchised for the amusement of the elite, and the line between art and snuff, media and the glorification of violence. The Midnight Meat Train is one of those films that most likely put people off with a strange title, but is one of the most important and socially-aware horror films to be released in decades.

Fun Film Fact: In David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook, Cooper and co-star Jennifer Lawrence walk by a theater playing The Midnight Meat Train!

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 & 1/2 slips on an eyeball out of 5

The Midnight Meat Train is available via iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube VOD, Vudu, Google Play, and blu-ray/DVD

Would YOU ride The Midnight Meat Train?
Tell me on Twitter: @linnieloowho