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Film / Midnight Movie

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"I smell fear."
Ted Radford

Midnight Movie is a 2008 slasher movie which focuses on a lumbering, masked serial killer who breaks free from the movie The Dark Beneath to begin stalking the patrons and employees of the movie theatre. Called out of the movie by fear, the killer's transition from film to real life is marked by a Melting-Film Effect. The kill is then projected onto the screen for those still in the theatre to watch. The killer then transitions back into the film with the body of his now limp victim to drag the victim to his secret lair.

The audience watching the film is slow on the uptake at first, deeming it all a prank. After figuring it out, the plot plays out like a more traditional slasher film.

Midnight Movie provides examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Bridget sends Timmy through the very large air vents into the projection room in an attempt to turn off the projector. Timmy later uses the vents to escape from the killer when he is trapped in a storeroom.
  • All Part of the Show: It takes the in-film theater patrons a disturbingly long time to realize that the changes in the scenery and the murders are not part of the film.
  • Axe Before Entering: The killer uses his weapon to break through a door and kill the biker with a heart of gold.
  • Camping a Crapper: The killer ambushes Sully as he emerges from a stall in the cinema bathroom.
  • Cassandra Truth: Timmy survives, but nobody will believe his story about a maniac who came out of the film and killed everyone.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: Once the cinema has been sealed, everyone trapped inside finds that their cell phones no longer work.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: While in the asylum, Radford bites into his wrist and tears out a chunk of flesh, and then starts scrawling on the floor in his own blood.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Mario eventually leaves his girlfriend to be killed and later he even pushes Timmy aside when he's blocking his way of escaping.
    • Radford proves to be one when Josh confronts him without fear.
  • Evil Cripple: Radford is a violent Serial Killer with a limp which doesn't seem to slow him down anyway.
  • Extremely Short Time Span: Barring the prelude, the entire film plays out over one night: starting just before midnight and ending before dawn.
  • Eye Scream: Josh gets stabbed through the eye with the killer's corkscrew blade.
  • The Faceless: The killer is never seen without his distinctive skull-like mask. However we fully see his face at the movie's beginning where he's interned in an asylum.
  • Fingore: The killer causes a sash window to slam shut on Samantha's fingers.
  • Good Powers, Bad People: The killer is an empath who uses his power to track his fleeing and hiding victims.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Bridget jeopardizes her chance to escape from The Dark Beneath to ensure that Timmy makes it.
  • High-Voltage Death: Mario is electrocuted when the killer grabs hold him, and the jams his blade into a socket; sending electricity coursing through him into Mario.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: The Show Within a Show "The Dark Beneath", the origin of the Slasher Movie villain, is this sort of generic slasher film.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: Rachael, who despite telling Kenny that she has a boyfriend and has no interest in dating him, is still able to persuade Kenny to go to the basement and change a bladder of syrup for her by promising him to show him her new tattoo.
  • Improbable Infant Survival: Timmy, the youngest character is the Sole Survivor (it was a close call, though).
  • Improbable Weapon User: The killer uses a strange corkscrew thing that gets several close-up shots and two scenes of it getting sharpened.
  • Immune to Bullets: Detective Barrons fires a few shots at the killer, but they do little more than annoy him.
  • Implacable Man: The killer appears to be completely indestructible in the real world, as he shrugs off being shot repeatedly in it, but in his film world he is far more vulnerable, at one point being temporarily downed by being stabbed in the neck with a nail.
  • Karma Houdini: While Timmy manages to escape, Ted Radford is ultimately unpunished for his crimes, and seeing as the film is still intact, he'll surely be able to kill again.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: Radford, the killer; when he prepares to torture Bridget, he takes the gag away from her so he can hear her screams.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Redford the skull-face masked maniac.
  • Melting-Film Effect: Indicates when a real life location is spliced into the film.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Bridget says this as a method to try and defeat the killer. It doesn't work.
  • Police Are Useless: Detective Barrons tries his hardest but he still doesn't make it very far. Arguably, also the cop outside the theatre.
  • Potty Emergency: Sully has a bad reaction to some chocolate coated raisins, and first develops uncontrollable flatulence, and then has to dash off to the cinema bathroom.
  • Refugee from TV Land: A lumbering, masked serial killer breaks free from the movie The Dark Beneath to begin stalking the patrons and employees of the movie theatre.
  • Rolling Pin of Doom: In the Film Within a Film ''The Dark Beneath", the killer's mother uses a rolling pin to knock out one of the girls for her son.
  • Shout-Out: The hallway in the house in the Film Within a Film is fairly identical to the one from the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).
  • Show Within a Show: The theater is doing a screening of The Dark Beneath, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style horror film created by Ted Radford.
  • Silent Antagonist: Played straight with Radford as we only hear him grunting and breathing heavilly. However when he catches Bridget he finally gets some dialogue.
  • Sinister Scythe: In the Film Within a Film, the mother kills the Final Girl with a sickle. Later, Timmy uses the sickle to kill the mother.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: The killer's mask incorporates pieces of a human skull.
  • Slashed Throat: Doctor Dave's death.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In universe. A death scene, for either a character in the Film Within A Film or the film itself, results in odd glitches with the movie.
  • This Is a Drill: The killer uses a drill-like knife to kill his victims.
  • Threat Backfire: Detective Barrons tells the killer that if he wants to get to the girl behind him, "You'll have to go through me." The villain obliges. Literally.
  • Toilet Horror: The second time the killer escapes from the film, he attacks Sully in the restroom and gores out his heart. The patrons still in the cinema get to watch this occur on the screen.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Anyone murdered by the killer becomes trapped in the black and white Hillbilly Horrors film he originates from.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Babe is afraid of heights, and Harley is afraid of small spaces. Both phobias become a hindrance while attempting to escape the killer.