Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Marry Satan And Make A Film: Midnight's Child

The Good: Marcy Walker's Acting
The Bad: Horrible plot, Lack of character development, Poor acting, Tone
The Basics: When the current bride of satan looks for a successor in her role as nanny, the audience ends up bored with Midnight's Child.

No genre of films seems to have such b-rate potential and executions as the horror genre. Horror movies tend to be more silly than scary, especially when they are done on a lower budget than they need. Midnight's Child is a film that does not even have the potential to be a b-rate horror film. Some scary films need more of a budget and talent to make them successful; this film needed a better script from the beginning.

Kate, a mother of a little girl and wife of an artistic man, is a busy businesswoman who finds herself in need of an au pair. This live-in babysitter takes the form of Anna Bergman, a Swedish girl who has just blown up a catholic school, though Kate obviously does not know that when she hires her. As Kate becomes accustomed to Anna being in her house, Anna begins to seduce her daughter with a picture book. As Anna's father desperately hunts her down, Kate becomes more and more fearful for her family, becoming paranoid about Anna's relationship with her daughter and husband.

Naturally, Anna is the bride of Satan. I mean, given the plot I wrote above, isn't it obvious? Well, that's how it comes out in the film. It turns out the picture book Anna is reading to Kate's daughter is some spellbook that seduces little girls to marry Satan at age 10 and sire his evil child at age 21. It's pretty ridiculous and it is no better in the execution than here in the description. It's a lame, silly idea that is abruptly presented after an hour of waiting for something to happen in the movie.

This is a disappointing film in pretty much every aspect, save Marcy Walker's acting. Walker, best known to audiences as Liza on All My Children, actually has some charisma to her and she presents her character in a way that makes her seem very real. Walker inserts a presence and desperation beyond the lines of the script to create in Kate a sense of a mother's protective instinct.

But beyond her acting, Midnight's Child is just a stinker. None of the characters are even remotely interesting. Kate is a bland businesswoman and her husband is pretty much the generic artist. Their daughter is bland and too much of an archetype to actually feel like a child and Anna Bergman's father simply fills the role of explaining the silly plot. He's basically a ranting old man who comes in to say his daughter was the last Bride of Satan and to explain to Kate that Anna is on the hunt for the next Bride.

And Anna is a ridiculous character. She's uninspired, she's uninteresting and she has no real aspect or character to her that would suggest why she ever became the Bride of Satan. Anna is poorly played by Olivia D'Abo. D'Abo proved her acting quality on an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation entitled "True Q" (reviewed here!). She's not just a pretty face there. In Midnight's Child, she shows absolutely none of her former talent or quality. Instead, here she is listless, uncharismatic and plain dull. D'Abo is bound by a crappy script and she does nothing to add to the character in a way that would improve her place in it.

Midnight's Child is a simply awful c-rate made for television horror film that it is a mystery as to why it has been released on DVD. The DVD has no extras to speak of and the quality both of the content and visual appearance is not worthy of the medium. Or our attention.

For other horror film reviews, please be sure to visit my reviews:
28 Days Later
The Blair Witch Project


For other movie reviews, please be sure to visit my index page for a complete listing of the films I have reviewed!

© 2011, 2003 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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