Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella together have delivered a movie that'll likely split the audiences to some extent, with one side saying the movie inevitably derails itself and the other saying it twists for the unexpected better. For a brief moment, around the middle of "After Midnight", I was very skeptical, but the unexpected better did find its way to me.
Jeremy Gardner has long been one of the names in indie horror scene that I'm always looking forward to see credited below a new and intriguing movie, as a director, writer andor actor. In this case, all three. With a friend, cinematographer and co-director Christian Stella, Gardner offers us a kind of a free-form horror with more than a decent amount of romance. In the end, it's the romance that really sells. Gardner portrays the character of Frank, a thirty-something bar-owner stuck in the small rural hometown he was born in, living together in a remote house with his long-time girlfriend Abby (Brea Grant). When Abby goes missing, Hank's life and sanity starts to fall apart as a mysterious monster comes to torment him every night. Humor, endearment, angst, existential crisis - all of this can be seen and felt in "After Midnight". I'd assume confidently enough that the best way to watch it is to go in blind. The story, as narrow and metaphorical as it is, flows nicely and evenly, while also shifting in ways that some may not expect. Christian Stella's thoughtfully and beautifully composed cinematography coats the emotional vibes up in a befitting visual symphony, there's even a few long-takes, one of which, being just a static dialogue, really stood out to me. Oh, and the whole cast is in on it fully, for indie scene fans there's the awesome director Justin Benson portraying a cop & the character of Wade will surely make you smile at least once.
Maybe I can't call "After Midnight" a very substantial movie, but it certainly manages to distance itself from anything that could be called a traditional horror, it captures a sense of melancholy and meaning, ranges from eerie to sweet & shows off great effort by everyone involved.
Review by TwistedContent from the Internet Movie Database.