I was going through soon-to-be videos on demand, and I ran into this great-looking movie poster. It featured three people with creepy masks, and a sentence: ”Pray these strangers don’t come calling.” Sounds familiar?
My first thought was: “C’mon! What are you trying to do people? Cash in on a current movie hit via not-so-subliminal poster message?” (…‘The Strangers Prey At Night’…). However, once I started digging and analyzing, I changed my mind. First of all, you can only have that much originality per genre, and, recycled movie poster aside, this movie seems like another decent work of a well-known horror connoisseur Christopher Ray.
Ray did some awesome low budget horror flicks and most of us have learned to appreciate his gory and unsettling approach to directorial work, as well as the horror movie production. Last year’s ‘Circus Kane’ is one true gem of gore made from scratch, but with so much enthusiasm that you just have to love and recognize it for what it truly is – a twisted, disturbing, low budget masterpiece. Ray’s fascination with sharks as movie-monsters is legendary in our (horror) community, and his work in that field includes some ridiculous titles such as ‘3-Headed Shark Attack’ and ‘Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus’. If you haven’t watched any of his shark movies I warmly recommend them, as they will surely give you a few jump-scares and you’ll be laughing your head off for hour and a half. Ray also has another movie coming out this year. Apparently, he was a second unit director during the making of ‘The First Purge’, and I wasn’t even aware of that till I saw it on IMDb. I’m sure he gave his best on this major franchise sequel too, and I’m really curious to see how that turned out. I guess I’ll just have to pace myself until it hits the theaters on July 4th, like the rest of you mortals.
‘Minutes to Midnight’ has an awesome acting ensemble too. You will be happy to hear that one of the faces we haven’t seen in a horror movie recently, but remember dearly from his past horror endevours, is back. I’m talking about William Baldwin who has a tradition of doing a fine horror flick every now and then. Back in 1990 he did ‘Flatliners’ where he acted opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Julia Roberts. His role in this spine-chilling classic wasn’t the lead one, but he delivered it so well that, as far as I’m concerned, he paved his bloody way into our genre. Nine long years later in 1999, he did ‘Virus’, which was great as a piece of entertainment, but it lacked the essence to be a good horror movie. In 2003 Baldwin starred in ‘Red Rover’, a horror thriller with a great idea behind it and also a great execution. I actually think ‘Red Rover’ is one of the most underrated movies of the past decade, and if you haven’t seen it – you really should. ‘Minutes to Midnight’ also features Richard Grieco, who isn’t exactly a household name in our genre, but he worked with Ray on a 2015’s horror flick, ‘A House Is Not a Home’. Last, but truly the best, film also features Bill Moseley. For those of you who don’t know who Moseley is (millennials, probably), he is a horror icon and his roles are what the legends are made of. ‘Devil’s Rejects’, ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2’, ‘House of 1000 Corpses’, or any other movie he was in, take your pick – he is masterful in all of them.
‘Minutes to Midnight’ is coming to VOD on July 3th, and in the end I will give you the synopsis and trailer to keep you on your toes.
“On the cusp of New Year’s Eve, seven friends and a mysterious backpacker converge at a desolate ski lodge in the mountains when they are systematically hunted down by ruthless masked men with a cryptic agenda.”