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The tragedy of Clive Barker’s ‘Midnight Meat Train’ October 5, 2008

Posted by patrick.klepek in clive barker, hellraiser, horror, movies.

“Hellraiser” is my favorite horror movie of all time.

Produced on a shoe-string budget and defying traditional genre conventions, it’s a movie that still holds up today. The special effects are a little goofy but add to the charm. “Hellraiser” is what introduced me to author Clive Barker, a man whose literary talents I’ve enjoyed ever since. It’s no surprise, then, that I’m always anxious for the next adaptation of his works.

He’s sadly removed himself from directing his own material anymore, but nonetheless remains involved in them. He worked very closely on the latest, “Midnight Meat Train.” A photographer accidentally stumbles upon the trail of a late-night serial killer who transports the bodies of the deceased through New York’s underground metro. He becomes obsessed with exposing the killer for who he is. From there…it gets pretty weird.

“Midnight Meat Train” is far from a perfect work. It adds superfluous details to the short story for the sake of stretching the run time to over an hour. The movie suffers because of that, but Katie still enjoyed herself, despite having not read the short story, so perhaps I’m just too close to the material.

But the story moves as a brisk pace, paints a wonderfully intimidating and mysterious villain and brilliantly makes the viewer look in one direction…until the ending cold clocks you and forces you to look the other.

The movie’s distributor, Lionsgate, tried to bury the release of “Midnight Meat Train” in its theatrical run. I never had a chance to see it on a big screen. That’s too bad; horror movies are made for that. But thankfully, Lionsgate at least partnered with Comcast and is offering “Midnight Meat Train” for free — even in high-definition. If you’re a horror buff, it’s worth checking out. It’s not the greatest horror movie ever made, but it’s a damn good one.



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