Ten Minutes to Midnight (2020) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Ten Minutes to Midnight (2020) Review

Horrorific content by Christina Dee on November 09th, 2020 | Movie Review | Slasher, Campy, Confined, Gore

On the eve of forced retirement, a violent hurricane traps veteran late night radio host Amy Marlowe and her uneasy staff at WLST while her mysterious new replacement shadows her every move.

Ten Minutes to Midnight was directed by Erik Bloomquist (Long Lost) and stars Caroline Williams (from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Nicole Kang, Nicholas Tucci (from You’re Next), Adam Weppler and Alice Kremelberg.

There's never been a night like this one

Ten Minutes to Midnight Review

If you like your horror films best when they’re seasoned with a little something extra for good measure, the recently released Ten Minutes to Midnight may be on your radar. Directed by Erik Bloomquist and starring veteran genre alum Caroline Williams, this film is packed with enough gore to keep any slasher fan entertained. Still, it’s also good and campy with a surprising amount of depth to it once the story gets moving. Bloomquist also co-wrote the film with his brother, Carson Bloomquist.

Ten Minutes to Midnight follows the story of Amy Marlowe (Williams), hostess of a late-night radio program. It’s her last night on the air before retiring to make room for Sienna (Nicole Kang), a young newcomer who’s shadowing Amy during her last night on the air. However, things quickly get eerier and creepier when a freak storm leaves everyone trapped inside the station. Then there’s the matter of a mysterious bat bite Amy has on her neck.

Ten Minutes to Midnight is the type of film that lets you think you know what to expect. It looks like it’s going to play out as another vampire-themed creature feature, and it is that to some extent. However, it’s also so much more. This is a film that’s wholly entertaining on a level you don’t see every day, so it’s fitting that it premiered on the final night of the Popcorn Frights Drive-In Horror Show.

Yes, it brings plenty of blood, gore, and creature-esque goodness to the table. However, it transitions into a much deeper story that addresses real themes everyone contemplates from time to time. Examples include the mortality we all share, as well as the purpose of life. Circumstances surrounding Amy’s forced retirement touch on society’s devaluation of women as they age, as well. Then on top of all that, it’s good and splashy to boot, so Ten Minutes has all its entertainment bases covered.

Caroline Williams shines as the potentially doomed Amy and steals the show in a big way. She brings the audience in sync with the character and makes them as angry for her unfair fate as she is. You wind up caring deeply about Amy through every dark revelation and psychological twist in her journey throughout this film. Williams is also well-backed by a fantastic supporting cast, so Ten Minutes to Midnight doesn’t let viewers down in the performance department. The now-deceased Nicholas Tucci is an exceptionally bright spot in what unexpectedly turned out to be his final role.

The incredible acting in Ten Minutes is underscored by terrific makeup effects by Amanda Pepin, as well as a killer heavy metal soundtrack that is perfect for the film. There are a few CGI effects that aren’t all they should have been (as can often be the case), but they do little to take away from everything else that’s working so well here.

Worth Watching?

Overall, this is an engaging film that those not in the know won’t expect much from. You go in expecting a regurgitated take on From Dusk Till Dawn or maybe even Pontypool, but you wind up with something that has much deeper roots as far as inspiration. Think time-honored, dark classics like Carnival of Souls and The Twilight Zone. In other words, you’d do well not to pass on Ten Minutes to Midnight.

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