After Midnight (2019)

After Midnight aka Something Else
Director: Jeremy Gardner, Christian Stella
Writer: Jeremy Gardner
Cast: Jeremy Gardner, Brea Grant, Henry Zebrowski, Justin Benson, Ashley Song, Nicola Masciotra, Taylor Zaudtke, Keith Arbuthnot
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 21.9.2019
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Plot:
Hank (Jeremy Gardner) thought he was happy with Abby (Brea Grant) but one day she was gone and just left a weird note. And then, in the night, a monster starts coming to their house, trying to break in. Hank barely sleeps anymore and hopes to find some proof of the monster’s existence. But even more than that, he hopes to find a way to get Abby back.

After Midnight had a lot to live up for me because Gardner’s The Battery is still one of my favorite films I ever saw at the /slash Filmfestival. I was a little afraid that I had maybe pushed my expectations too high for After Midnight, but I need not have worried: After Midnight is a wonderful that again made it to my favorite films list of this year’s festival.

The film poster showing a monstrous creature in a bloody heart.

After Midnight somehow sits between many chairs – and it’s absolutely comfortable right where it’s at. It is funny, but not an outright comedy. It’s a relationship drama, but it’s also a monster film. It’s a mix that probably looked like it would fail on paper, but works beautifully in execution. I was emotionally completely invested all the time.

The cinematography with many long shots was generally great, but one of the film’s highlights was definitely the long uninterrupted shot of Hank and Abby talking. Framed perfectly and hitting all the right notes in the acting, it is a stunning piece of character work and one of cinema’s moments that get as close to perfect as it possibly can.

Wade (Henry Zebrowski) and Hank (Jeremy Gardner) stalking through a field. Wade as an axe, Hank a shotgun.

Another highlight was the karaoke scene that, for me, was the spiritual successor of the dance scene in The Battery – still one of the greatest dance scenes ever. I was utterly transfixed during it and I loved every second of it.

Shot at a great location, dodging genre conventions without disregarding them and with Gardner’s magnetic presence, After Midnight is an absolute must see – even if I liked its earlier title Something Else better.

Abby (Brea Grant) and Hank (Jeremy Gardner) sitting in the open door of their house. Hank is cradling a shotgun.

Summarizing: Loved it.

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