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The Midnight Meat Train (2008) Why You Should Watch It If You Haven't

Updated on December 20, 2017
NessMovieReviews profile image

Vanessa writes non-spoiler reviews preferring films that are generally overlooked and underrated. She prefers her horror to have a story.


What's It About?

Leon's a photographer who keeps on getting rejected. Instead of continuing on the path he has always walked, he decides to take it up a notch.

Being in the cities darkness, Leon discovers more than he bargained for. He follows a man called Mahogany trying to land the next big story and discovers this mysterious man is a killer.

He sees and photographs things he shouldn't and Mahogany knows who he is.

Bradley Cooper plays Leon. Looking to up the ante on his photography career by finding scenes that show he has an edge no one else has.
Bradley Cooper plays Leon. Looking to up the ante on his photography career by finding scenes that show he has an edge no one else has. | Source

Quick Film Info

Director: Ryuhei Kitamura.

Writer: Jeff Buhler but based on Clive Barker's short story in his novel Books of Blood in Volume 1.

Date of Release: July 2008.

Country of Origin: USA

Genre: Horror with a dash of mystery.

Budget: $15 million.

Box Office: $3.5 million.

Fun Facts: Jeff Buhler also wrote screenplays of upcoming remakes being debated a lot of late. There are no release dates as yet, but mark-my-words they are coming. He is responsible for the writing for the new version of Pet Cemetery and will also be doing Jacobs Ladder. Jacobs Ladder completed in 2017 but no release date yet.

Those two movies are fairly iconic, but I feel better knowing he is on these projects.

Trailer - The Midnight Meat Train

My Thoughts On The Midnight Meat Train

There are some scenes in The Midnight Meat Train where nothing gets uttered for some time. It creates a feeling of dread and unease so effortlessly I was in awe of this movie as soon as it began. The lighting and the way the characters are introduced are instantly engaging.

The story itself has all the good stuff crammed into it. If you like gore— it's got it. If you like tension— sure it's got that too. Mystery— yep. And a plot that stands up and demands your attention.

Mahogany played by Vinnie Jones is an excellent antagonist. His mere presence on-screen is more than enough to exude a menacing feeling to both Leon who is stalking him and to the viewer who is watching. Combine that with the jaded gloom of a city under darkness and add the desolate nameless faces on subway trains and you have a stage that could hold any horror movie lovers attention.

I think the concept is awesome. I have ridden many a train at night in my youth. Many times I have been alone in a train car or similarly with only one or two other people. This type of scenario automatically places you on guard. The lighting used in the movie perfectly encapsulates the eerie influence the fluorescent bulbs cast on anyone within its reach. Seeing Mahogany in his suit carrying a large black bag, sedately travelling along, you couldn't help but be curious about what he was up to.

In the years since this movie released, it continuously pops up from time to time as a great movie to see. There is also a lot of negativity surrounding the ending, with some reviewers refusing to believe that Clive Barker would have ended his short story in the same way.

I can confirm that the adaptation is almost exactly the same ending as the movie and I for one adore it. I'm never the one that agrees with the masses, and the masses hated the final scenes. The detail of Clive's original work in his novel would've added some meat to the last act, in my opinion, but it's only a few small details and they were only slightly adjusted in the movie. I saw it as a fitting end to a film that would've gone down the same road as many others and didn't. I applaud it for that, not condemn it.

I wanted to see it turn into a franchise when I first watched this fairly low-budget film. The ending gave way for a larger story. There aren't many movies that do that well. Now, I'm happy that it has stayed its own entity and I believe it has become a cult classic.

When the movie released, the production company Lionsgate were blamed for its limited release due to politics among the ranks of the studios head honcho's. In any case, despite the fact this movie didn't receive the push it should have been given, it has held up well over time. I have no qualms in recommending it to anyone looking for a brilliant hidden gem they might have missed.

It's showing on Netflix, if you haven't seen it, turn it on when you next get the chance.

I give The Midnight Meat Train 5 butchers mallets out of 5.

Vinnie Jones. Plays the bad guy with a superb brilliance that only he can bring.
Vinnie Jones. Plays the bad guy with a superb brilliance that only he can bring. | Source

Which remake are you most looking forward to?

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© 2017 Mother of Movies and Series Reviews


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    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 2 weeks ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      It definitely holds up as a strong movie. I loved the silence in the first quarter of the movie. I can't wait to see how his influence affects Pet Cemetery and Jacobs Ladder.

    • CYong74 profile image

      Kuan Leong Yong 2 weeks ago from Singapore

      I felt the stylized violence was a little comic the first time I watched it. But over the years, the movie grew on me.

      And those scenes of the hanging bodies. That left a strong impression.

    • NessMovieReviews profile image

      Mother of Movies and Series Reviews 7 months ago from Moreton Bay, Queensland

      Glad the review made you want to see it Jacob!

    • Eazyjay 30 profile image

      Jacob Kahungwa 7 months ago from Tanzania

      I can't wait to watch the movie.


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