The Midnight Meat Train 2008 Dir. Ryûhei Kitamura
I have a soft spot for Clive Barker, even though I’ve never been able to entirely give myself over to all of his high concept sensibilities. His films always intersect the sexually disquieting with grotesque, supernatural horrors. He is a pleasure to watch in interviews and for a long time remained the most handsome of all of the genre writers. His original Hellraiser film was a valiant directing effort, and is fun to watch despite its weaknesses. I also think that Night Breed is an under viewed gem. All of that said, I believe The Midnight Meat Train to be the best of his screen adaptations. It combines Barker’s aforementioned trademarks into a film that is an intriguing mystery mixed with Lovecratian horror. In fact, it may be the most Lovecraftian story ever put to screen.
Based off of Barker’s short story from his “Books of Blood” collection, The Midnight Meat Train follows Leon (Bradley Cooper), a struggling New York photographer as he tries to find his artistic voice. In an effort to find inspiration he photographs everything he can, eventually catching a large man in a suit (Vinnie Jones) packing an antique medical case. The man is a looming and strange figure and soon, Leon becomes obsessed with him, tracking him to figure out if he’s the murderer responsible for a string of subway killings.
The Midnight Meat Train deals in obsession, mystery, murder and servitude. The film alternates between looming dread and visceral violence and it works better than any other Barker related material I’ve seen. If you’ve never seen a Clive Barker story on screen before, I recommend you book a ride on The Midnight Meat Train
Watch the trailer HERE