Anchor Bay’s The Midnight Game Is A Fright Filled, Fun Indie Horror Flick

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz

Anchor Bay Entertainment’s new horror flick The Midnight Game is a surprisingly entertaining work for an indie horror flick.  The central point of the movie’s success is its script.  One watch of this fright-filled story shows that it’s not just another teen slasher flick.  For that matter, there’s barely any blood shed throughout.  It will however leave audiences guessing right up to the end.  Another reason that horror fans will appreciate The Midnight Game is the acting on the part of the movie’s cast.  The cast knows that this movie is an indie flick.  And while the cast doesn’t necessarily ham it up per se, each cast member’s acting does come across as lightly poking fun at the whole teen horror sub-genre of the horror realm.  Last but not least of all worth mentioning about The Midnight Game is the fact that while it obviously lifts from certain other horror flicks, it doesn’t go so far as to blatantly rip off said movies unlike far too many movies out there regardless of their genre.  These three factors each play their own role in the overall success of The Midnight Game.  Together, they make this indie horror romp one that any fan of the genre will want to watch at least once now that the movie is officially available in stores and online.

The central point of The Midnight Game’s success lies in the movie’s script.  At first glance, one might think that this movie is going to be just another run-of-the-mill gore fest loaded with lots of references to people taking part in satanic rituals.  The reality of the movie is that it is anything but.  Sure, it is essentially another teen horror flick.  But at least it isn’t just another one of the standard gore-filled slasher/evil spirit flicks that are all too common nowadays from the world of horror.  Yes, there is some blood shed at points in the movie.  And there is one very brief moment of nudity.  But both elements have been kept to a minimum.  For that reason alone, the movie’s writing staff is deserving of a certain amount of credit.  There’s no denying that there is at least some predictability at certain points in the story.  But the writing staff makes up for that by throwing in a rather interesting twist ending, which will not be revealed here for the sake of those that haven’t yet seen this frightfully fun teen horror flick.  It is a twist though, that will leave audiences wondering and talking.  And that it will have that lasting effect is a fitting final testament to the talents of those behind the movie’s script.

The talents of those responsible for crafting the script behind The Midnight Game are definitely worth noting in the overall enjoyment of the movie in whole.  The work of those charged with crafting the story’s script goes a long way toward making the movie work.  The same can be said of the acting on the part of the movie’s cast.  The cast—Renee Olstead (The Secret Life of the American Teenager13 Going on 30Still Standing), Shelby Young (The Social NetworkDays of Our LivesEverybody Hates Chris), Guy Wilson (Little Black BookDays of Our LivesThe Open Door), Valentina de Angelis (As The World TurnsGossip GirlBereavement), and Spencer Daniels (Star TrekThe Curious Case of Benjamin ButtonThis Is 40)—doesn’t necessarily ham it up.  But it’s obvious that the cast members had fun with their roles throughout the movie’s filming.  They did take their roles with a certain level of seriousness.  But they didn’t take them so seriously that they went over the top.  Their acting could be argued to have even been a little bit of a spoof of the teens in every teen-centric horror flick ever released to a point.  That’s really what made this aspect work so well.  They were just that spot on in their depictions of the stereotypes used in all the other teen horror romps already out there.  Audiences will know in watching the cast at work that they are watching a movie.  Yet thanks to that acting, audiences will still want to watch what happens to each “teen” next, even going so far as to laugh at their characters at some points.  Again, herein lies one more reason that any horror aficionado will want to see this movie if only once.  There is still more worth mentioning even after considering both this aspect of the movie and its script.

The script and acting that went into The Midnight Game are both key to the movie’s overall enjoyment and success.  Anyone that is familiar with the world of horror will note in watching though, that this movie bears quite the similarity to a number of other horror flicks out there.  Those flicks include the likes of: Fear Dot ComThe Ring, Shadow People and others of that ilk.  Audiences that give The Midnight Game will see the comparison rather early on and even in the story’s final minutes.  The catch is that while the similarity is there, The Midnight Game doesn’t go so far as to directly rip off those works.  Despite being loosely related to said movies, it still maintains its own identity against them, thus helping to maintain at least a certain sense of originality.  That is the final touch to this movie that makes it one of this year’s more surprising entertaining indie flicks.  It’s a movie that any horror aficionado should watch at least once whether this Halloween or any other time of the year.

The Midnight Game is available now on DVD in stores and online.  It can be ordered directly online via the official Anchor Bay Entertainment website at  More information on this and other titles available from Anchor Bay Entertainment is available online at,, and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

NYC Theater To Host Screening Of Shadow People Today

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Horror movie fans will get the chance to see a special screening of Anchor Bay’s new horror/thriller movie, Shadow People today, Monday, March 18th.  New York’s famed Cinema Village will host a very special screening of the movie, presented by Fangoria magazine.  On hand for the screening will be star Dallas Roberts and director Matthew Arnold.  The pair will introduce the movie.  A Q&A session with Matthew Arnold will follow the screening.  It will be moderated by Fangoria Editor Emeritus Tony Timpone.  It all starts at 7pm EST.

More information on the screening, contact the Cinema Village by phone at 212-924-3364.  The theater is located at 22 East 12th Street (@ University Place). New York, NY. 10003. Information about tickets for the screening can be obtained online at

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Shadow People Less Horror, More Thriller

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainment

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainment

The paranormal is big business in the entertainment industry.  Countless movies and television shows have been made centered on different ghost stories since the dawn of the motion picture.  So many in fact that sometimes it seems nearly as difficult to differentiate one from another as it is to tell one pop star from another on the radio.  With the abundance of movies that fill the paranormal/ghost story genre, one can only ask how one makes a movie that can both entertain and truly scare audiences at a time when audiences are becoming increasingly desensitized to horror and ghost stories.  For the answer, just ask Writer/Director Matthew Arnold and co-writer Travis Rooks.  The pair has crafted in the new movie, Shadow People a story that while it may not be a major theatrical release, it is an interesting presentation.

Shadow People is one part X-Files, one part The Ring, and one part Blair Witch Project,  it tells the story of radio host Charlie Camfield (Dallas Roberts) and how he was pulled into a dark world (no pun intended) late one night on the air.  Charlie was the host of a late night radio talk show that handled any number of subjects from its callers.  But one night, a young seventeen year old caller turned his world upside down with a call about a paranormal experience that he was having.  At first Charlie doesn’t believe the caller.  But when the young man calls a second time, things take a turn that change Charlie forever, thus leading Charlie on an increasingly disturbing journey into a world in which most people don’t believe.

The disbelief of the general population about the world of the paranormal is openly highlighted in this movie.  And it’s one part of what makes the movie worth at least one watch.  Even Charlie himself tries to explain away what is going on at first.  But as he delves deeper into the subject of the “Shadow People”, he sees that some things can’t be explained away scientifically.  On the other end of the spectrum, those with whom he stood still stand their ground, increasingly looking down their noses at Charlie.  It echoes the view that the general public has about the paranormal.  Unless it has happened to them, then they don’t believe it and they consider believers to be some sort of “nut job.”  It is this attempt at factual storytelling that will keep any horror movie fan watching throughout the course of the movie’s roughly hour and a half run time.

Speaking of the scientific side of things, Arnold and Rook also do a good job of exhibiting that side.  As already noted, they do a good job of showing the attitudes of those who don’t believe less for scientific reasons than for general disbelief.  Though, the explanation of sleep paralysis and the placebo effect are spot on from the scientific side of disbelievers, too.  Sleep paralysis is typically known in scientific circles as a dream state of sorts.  It is most commonly associated with the deepest level of REM sleep.  The body’s muscles are so relaxed and weak at this point that the body can’t move.  That combined with the brain’s functions lead to the belief that something is holding them down.  Most commonly, it is believed that the force holding them down is an evil spirit.  This is also explained through the movie.

The movie’s attempt at factual storytelling makes Shadow People a movie worth at least once watch.  Also making it interesting is the inclusion of actual footage from the real life Charlie Camfield and those involved in the case which Charlie was studying.  Also included is what is allegedly footage from the CDC explaining the scientific side of things.  This supposedly real footage gives the movie something of a Blair Witch Project vibe about it, but far less cheesy.  In its own way, the included footage reminds audiences that they are watching a movie.  And in turn, that reminder actually helps establish suspension of disbelief, thus making the movie that much more bearable.  Along with Arnold and Rook’s attempts at factual storytelling, it proves Shadow People to be a story that while it might not be a theatrical release, is still a good ghost story that stands more than a “shadow” of a chance of success.  And yes, that pun was intended.

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