In the tradition of The Strangers, and featuring the hottest ensemble of the year, Minutes to Midnight on VOD July 3.
What happens when a night of fun turns into a night of horror? Seven friends and a mysterious backpacker converge at a desolate ski lodge in the mountains and as the clock begins the countdown to the New Year, they discover that the end of the old year may be the end of all their years as they are systematically hunted down by ruthless masked men with a deadly agenda.
Film is scripted by Victoria Dadi and Christopher M. Don.
Award-winning actor William Baldwin (Backdraft, Flatliners, Sliver), Richard Grieco (“21 Jump Street”), Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects), John Hennigan (Never Leave Alive), Dominique Swain (Astro), Viva Bianca (“Spartacus : War of the Damned”), Jared Cohn (Pernicious) and Christopher Judge (“Stargate SG-1”) star in a Christopher Ray (Circus Kane) film.
Minutes to Midnight is on VOD July 3 and DVD September 4.
Let’s get some of the negatives out of the way, I’m a “give me the bad news first, save the good for last” kinda guy”. The poster is deceptive in a way. The big scarecrow masked slasher in the middle of the poster is in the movie as pictured, as ‘Angus’. The other two featured on the poster are not featured in the movie with those masks, rather you get Bill Moseley as ‘Gimpie’, which is essentially his character ‘Otis’, from the Devil’s Rejects. Which isn’t a bad thing, it was just a little odd. The other villain is a female slasher, sporting what looks like a Bane mask from The Dark Knight Rises. With that in mind, I would have preferred to have seen those poster masks in the movie as they are quit good.
But, alas…on to the positives.
The movie has two sides, one is a classic setup with friends, coworkers in this case, heading out to a ski lodge in the woods for sex, booze and drugs. The other side story is Richard Grieco, who is playing Sheriff Wyatt , and William Baldwin as the ski lodge caretaker, Mr. Walters. The latter is about their interactions, which seem to imply that they have secrets from growing up as kids together. Despite having the “star power” on the latter story, the movie could have done without it as it didn’t amount to much other than ->
Spoiler Alert Ahead!!!
Mr. Walters is related to the trio of psychos, and he is aware of their “shenanigans. This could have been revealed at the end as it just offered almost detective filler to what was a much better slasher movie on the other side.
One of the better aspects to the movie were that the kills are pretty decent, with Angus getting most of the screen time, as the indestructible killer with an array of weaponry. He has a wicked spiked ball on a chain he uses on a victim, when he crashes their bedside romp, and sports a couple homemade bone axes he carries around as he slices and dices through the partygoers. Gimpie was more of a cameo in the movie, as he is taken out rather quickly, but what you do see is his sick lair that he uses to “paint” with his victim’s blood. It was pretty disturbing. Finally, Calypso, the female slasher, is just a quiet psycho in the shadows, who does get a little stabby in some parts of the movie, but fell victim to sharing a spotlight with Angus…who is quit the badass.
You also get another side story of a backpacker looking for his brother and fiancé (which you were introduced to in the kickass kill at the beginning) all leading to a final confrontation that wraps up the three stories with an epic beat down. In the end, you got an entertaining mix of 80’s slasher movie with backwoods horror and a whole lotta foggy chase scenes!
It’s got a lot going on, but I dug it. The end, albeit a little abrupt, was decent as it ties together the whole past with sheriff and the family of loons. Seems the family was shunned due to their heinous looking disfigurements, and a prank with the sheriff and his pals as kids, lead to a revenge years in the making. Whew.
Give it a go, stream it, rent it and buy it. It’s fun, and I’ll gladly set it beside director Ray’s other fun slasher, Circus Kane (2017).