More short films, kiddies! Today we have MIDNIGHT CLEAR, written by John Jesensky and Joe Russo, and directed by Joe Russo.
Christmas Eve. Such a magical night, is it not? Proud father David (Kurt Kubicek) surveys the home all dressed for the holidays. The tree, the lights, the gifts all piled up…it’s perfect.
However, mom Julie (jessica Morris) is not having a very good time. Seems David found out about a little something she had going on the side and he’s not too happy about it.
But David is determined to have the perfect Christmas in spite of it. He wakes up the kids and tells them Santa came early, so its time to get to opening presents. Julie is trying to play it off, but she knows this night will end badly. Its just a matter of when.
I have made no secret about how much I love Christmas-themed horror movies. Its an underserved market, and there’s so many talented filmmakers out there trying to fill the gap. This is likely one of the best ones I’ve ever seen.
Let’s start with the art design. The sets, costumes, and score are so brilliant. It like a Hallmark card come to life, which creates an incredible juxtoposition to the horror that’s to come. Simply stunning the attention to detail that was paid. The cinematography is really good, and really high production quality for sound and lighting.
And the cast….the performances are so on point. David is frightening and overbearing. Julie’s pain and fear are so well conveyed. Even the young children, clueless as to the underlying tension in the home, are brilliant.
I don’t want to cross into any spoiler territory, but by the end of this film, I was just blown away. Let’s just say that the art of misdirection is alive and well.
So using my special short scale of one to five, five being awesome, I’m giving this film 5 advent candles.