In 2008, cinemagoers were asked if they’d dare board The Midnight Meat Train. The weird name raised eyebrows and, ultimately, few took up the offer. Distributor Lionsgate promptly scaled back the theatrical release in favor of shoving it out on DVD, believing they had a big flop on their hands.
That’s a damn shame, because in the years since, The Midnight Meat Train has been steadily picking up a cult following and is now turning heads in Reddit’s r/horror subreddit, with one contributor calling it “one of the best late night horror movies out there” and a number of other fellow horror fans concurring.
That begs the question: What is a Midnight Meat Train, anyway?
Much of the movie’s fun comes from the absolutely bizarre plot developments, but I’ll stay away from too many spoilers here. The story centers on Leon (Bradley Cooper), an urban photographer determined to capture the gritty soul of the Big Apple.
Warning: Spoilers follow.
His mission turns into an obsession with serial killer/urban legend Mahogany, a butcher who stalks the Subway killing passengers with apparent impunity. Let’s just say he doesn’t turn out to be just any boring old serial killer. Without ruining the ending of the movie, I’ll just mention that it’s based on a short story by Clive “Hellraiser” Barker.
Some iffy CGI nonwithstanding, it’s a wild ride, feels like a true original in the horror genre, and I’m very pleased that it’s finally finding the audience it deserves. If you’re in the mood for a dark, mindbending, and incredibly gory New York City nightmare, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything this fun.
The Midnight Meat Train s available to rent or buy on Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, Vudu, Google Play, or YouTube.