19th Sep2018

Pass Horror Notes: ‘Minutes to Midnight’ Review

by Aaron Shakespeare

pass-horror-notes

MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

Stars: William Baldwin, Richard Grieco, Bill Moseley, Viva Bianca, Christopher Judge, John Hennigan, Dominique Swain, Mercy Malick, Bryce Draper, Sara Fletcher | Written by Victoria Dadi, Christopher M. Don | Directed by Christopher Ray

Name: Minutes to Midnight
Age: 2018
Appearance: Action/comedy/horror slasher featuring a cast of B-movie acting greats and a couple of wrestlers.

Wait a minute...

Wait a minute…

I love wrestling. Big Daddy… Giant Haystacks…

Sadly, neither men are in it for they are no longer with us. (R.I.P) But you do get John “Johnny Impact” Hennigan playing a backpacker named Travis and Aaron “Jesus/Uno” Aguilera as the hulking psychopath Angus.

A killer named Angus? Ooooh scary…

He’s the deformed son of a family of psychopaths. You also get Calypso (an athletic Mercy Malick) and Gimple (Bill Mosely, who turns up in every low budget horror film ever).

Angus, Gimple, and Calypso. Sounds like a 60s folk trio. What’s it all about?

Evoking many a horror film, a bunch of yuppie millennials spend a Bloody New Year trapped in a Cabin In the Woods being stalked by a family of Crazies who have seemingly escaped from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

That’s not much of a story…

Slasher films are not known for their labyrinthine storyline, but Minutes to Midnight has more plot strands than you can shake a knife at. As well as the psycho-family, you have William Baldwin (my favourite Baldwin brother) turning up to play kindly office boss Mr Walters who holds a dark secret. His performance is so phoned in that he’s basically on voicemail. We also get Richard “Whatever happened to him?” Grieco, as Sheriff Wyatt. He plays this role with about as much conviction as, well, Richard Grieco and spends most of the film brandishing a gun and warning there’s a big storm a-coming that’s so powerful it could trap some yuppie millennials in a Cabin In the Woods.

Wow, a dark secret, a killer family, a big storm…

But wait, there’s more!

More?

Yes. Our friend, Travis the backpacker, is also on a mission to search for his missing brother.

Does the film even have time to be a Slasher?

Well, that’s the problem. It moves from being an action film one moment to horror the next, sometimes falling into comedy along the way. Some may enjoy this combination but the film lurches almost drunk-like in tone. One minute you’ll get a comedy moment featuring Richie (Jared Cohn) attempting to have a shave whilst pissed and then we get a WWE style wrestling smackdown between Travis and Angus. Of course, we’ve all come for the slasher goodness, which it duly provides with throats sliced, guts pulled and heads pulped. Oh, and Angus carries a flail made of bones and a skull. He’s a badass, our Angus.

Sounds like fun!

It’s fun if you can withstand lapses in logic such as Sheriff Wyatt leaving an unarmed Travis to face Angus, or tolerate curious directorial choices where the same footage is used multiple times for a driving sequence, made obvious by the massive fly that buzzes across the screen. However, you do get gore, nudity and a wrestling match. And that is why we’re here.
______

Don’t say: Aberdeen Angus pie!

Do say: Angus AAAAARGH!!!!

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