The Midnight Game (2013) **
D: A.D. Calvo
C: Renee Olstead, Shelby Young, Guy Wilson, Valentina de Angelis, Spencer Daniels,
Plot Synopsis: After playing a pagan ritual on a dare, a group of high school students find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of their worst fears.
Review: The first half of The Midnight Game is atmospheric, even a bit spooky. After all, when it comes to urban legends, tall tales, superstitions, or, in this case, a Pagan ritual gone awry - we might laugh whenever these stories are shared, but there's this part of our brain that won't quite let us dismiss them. They tap into a fear of the unknown, while also tapping into certain fears that relate to our own humanity. It's that combination that has allowed these stories to endure from one generation to the next.
The Midnight Game captures that mentality and that's what makes it effective in the first half. It's not until the second half, that things start to fall apart. Ghosts appear. Some rock back & forth in rocking chairs. Others stand there, trying to look scary. One ghost even calls up the characters. Fittingly enough, there number shows up on a Caller ID as (666) 666 - 6666. The thing is, a visual is never going to have the same power to scare someone verses something that they might have imagined.
The Midnight Game is guilty of over explaining everything, instead of trusting that a more ambiguous approach would have been far more effective. [R] 74 mins.
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