The Midnight Meat Train (2008) – The Cut Up #65

Check out a video review that features best and worst scenes and best and worst quotes from the movie Midnight Meat Train. Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga Kill You!

The following was the Cut on Sight: Midnight Meat Train (2007) posted on 8/11/2008 at 8:19 PM

There is a man alone on a subway train. He gets up and walks around to stretch his legs only to quickly find himself on the ground, having slipped on an enormous puddle of blood in the middle of the walkway. As he struggles to get up, grabbing at the seats and poles to hoist himself, he thinks he’s seen something strange through the window leading to the next car. He moves reluctantly to the window, and as he approaches he’s greeted to a grisly scene where, in the next dark subway car, a shadowy figure chops up what looks to be a dead body…

This is the beginning scene in Midnight Meat Train, the new movie based on a short story by horror mastermind Clive Barker (Hellraiser, Candyman) and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus). It really gives you a glimpse for how the rest of the movie will be.

Leon is a struggling photographer looking for something that will project him to the status of professional. This everyday, rat race to make ends meet is killing him. While meeting with a big wig in the art world, she tells him that he needs to be more daring but in doing so, he stumbles upon a murder conspiracy of gigantic proportions and if he’s not careful, a butcher who cuts meat will be killing him.

It’s a Clive Barker story so of course there is no shortage of gore here but it’s also very suspense filled. Where you believe it to only be a gorefest, you’re welcomed into a thrilling mystery-esque movie as well.

I’m happy to report that you get to see the killer at work a few times. Many movies make the mistake of only giving you a taste of what their killer can do but we get to see, constantly, that Mahogany is a well oiled machine of a mallet swinging psycho. Bashes to the head with his polished meat mallet and quick hacks with his hatchet are regular maneuvers for Mahogany.

The cinematography used both surprises and amazes me. One particular scene has a woman’s head chopped off and then the camera follows the head to the floor through the woman’s eyes, all the while watching the killer. Then the camera pans out of her eyes to show her mangled remains; a very impressive scene. There are some very unique placements for camera angles as well. From overhead shots of an alley to nicely seated street shots, these angles keep the scenes chugging along at a great pace.

I also like the music. From touchy electronic pulses to heart racing break beats; the music fits the pacing and feeling perfectly.

The only gripe I have with Midnight Meat Train are a few story elements that are introduced, end up being overlooked and underdeveloped. It’s mostly little things like the rest of Leon’s work being finished in time to show, it apparently happened but we never saw it. He appeared to be too busy with the Butcher to finish. This artsy big wig in New York is apparently really into having sex with her peers but this never comes into play. The build up of emotional distress between Leon and his girlfriend Maya doesn’t really seem to be happening until she starts yelling at him for obsessing over this midnight train rider. Oddly enough, everything between Mahogany and Leon is explained and resolved to an extent. I just wondered why some of these things were even brought up if they weren’t going to be relevant. Maybe we’ll have to wait for an extended dvd edition?

All in all, I feel this is a must see for horror fans. It has all the makings of a great horror movie but is also part mystery/thriller and establishes itself well as such. Don’t let this one cut on by.