Quick Review: Midnight Meat Train

This movie was based on a Clive Barker story

Clive Barker also created “Hellraiser”.

I could end the review right there because you can probably fill in my opinions for yourselves based on those two facts alone.

The truth is, I don’t actually remember this particular short story. But it must have been at least decent because the movie is pretty damn good.

The Plot: A photographer stumbles across the workings of a mysterious silent killer (referred to both as “The Butcher” and “Mr. Mahogany”) who murders travelers on the subway and butchers their corpses. Awesome.

What I liked: The brutality of some of these kill scenes should win some kind of award. There is one toward the beginning (not the VERY first one, though) that was literally eye-popping. The scenes that followed weren’t quite as good, but they were still squirm-worthy.

What I didn’t like: The ending, while GOOD, was projected very early into the movie. By the time you’re 1/3rd of the way in, you know exactly how this baby is going to end. However, in my case this may be due to some lingering memory of the original story…your mileage may vary. The ending (and the movie itself) does contain an almost Lovecraftian “WTF!?” aspect that I won’t reveal here…. but it made me feel like part of the story was missing somewhere. Endings shouldn’t be completely telegraphed, nor should they leave you wondering “Where the hell did THAT come from?” This one manages to do both. Also, the photographer’s girlfriend was annoying, but since when are wives/girlfriends in horror movies NOT annoying. This one does become vital in the plot later in the film, but I still got the impression that she was welded onto the script as an afterthought. I wonder if she existed in the original story at all.

End Result: A good, bloody movie with some truly excellent scenes. Plot could have used a bit of work with regard to how the ending followed from the rest of the movie. See this one.


  1. nate, October 2, 2009:

    I pretty much agree, except for the ending being projected early on. You probably did subconsciously remember it from the story. Overall I thought is was slow at first, had some good suspense, a fair bit of gore but not overly so. The ending was really lacking though.

  2. nate, February 18, 2011:

    My beloved gave me a Nook for Valentine’s day (I specifically asked for NOOKIE, but that’s another story….) and I’ve loaded up quite a few of Clive Barker’s books. I just started reading the first Book of Blood, and am currently reading this story. I’ll have to go back and watch the movie again at some point.

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