After Midnight (2005) – By Timothy Martinez

How often do you want to watch something, but do not have the time to sit through an entire movie? What will you do – not watch anything or try and see part of something only to stop at some point due to time constraints? Well, here is a film that solves your problem. After Midnight is an anthology, so it’s not necessary to view the entire thing in one sitting. Comprised of four short stories and one wrap around segment, this film is the product of many different independent filmmakers from across the country.

A woman alone at home one night passes the time by reading scary stories from a book. Each story then makes up one of the short segments in the film. The first is "I Want To Be A Vampire," where a reporter visits a woman who claims to be one of the infamous eternal creatures of the night. Before the interview is over, both will be in for a surprise. The next story is "Moment In Darkness." Here a young female doctor indulges her dark side by hanging out in Goth clubs and chatting with someone on a vampire-themed website. The consequences of these actions will change her life forever. Following that is "Perfect Subject," where an attractive model sells photographers the opportunity to snap her nude form, as long as they keep their hands to themselves. When one of them gets a little too friendly, he finds himself in for a nasty surprise. The final story is called "No One Around" and it strays from the vampire theme seen in the previous segments. Saying too much about it might spoil things, so just know that it’s about the circumstances surrounding a very lonely woman. Afterwards, the wrap-around story finishes things off with a twist.

To be quite honest this film looks like it was shot for fifty bucks, tops. Despite that, it rises above its frugal roots and showcases some real talent. I was most impressed with the level of craftsmanship, especially when it came to editing, pacing and camera work. In these aspects, the film comes off as very professional. However, I must say that there a few times when things could have been sped up. Watching people go through mundane actions several times can get a bit boring. I also got the impression that there were times when the various narratives were not as clear or as well defined as they could have been. Loving these types of films, I could follow along easily enough, but more mainstream crowds might get lost a time or two. This is not helped by the absolutely horrible sound quality. I had my television’s volume as high as it could go, but could not make out dialog in several spots. Keep in mind that there is a lot of bare flesh exposed here, which I think is a big draw for many people. Check it out.

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