The second year of “Into the Dark” has been notably more ambitious than the first. Apparently, Hulu has given the production a higher budget, and Blumhouse appears to be encouraging some interesting storytelling. The last two months produced a Pilgrim-centric Thanksgiving original film with a high gore quotient and a fun Christmas installment that played more like black comedy. And now our New Year's entry comes from a subgenre not often seen on a major streaming service: the gay slasher pic. Sort of like a gay “Big Chill” being invaded by a gayer “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” “Midnight Kiss” has some interesting ideas and certainly feels original, but it comes apart a few times, especially in its final scenes and the tonally jarring jumps between what often feels like a celebration and vicious violence. The cast is also a bit weaker than recent installments, although credit to both Blumhouse and Hulu for continuing to surprise 16 original films into their series.
“进入黑暗”的第二年比第一年更有野心。显然，Hulu给了这部剧更高的预算，Blumhouse也似乎在鼓励一些有趣的故事讲述。最近两个月上映了一部以朝圣者为中心的感恩节原创电影，该影片具有很高的戈尔商和有趣的圣诞节装置，其放映风格更像是黑色喜剧。现在，我们新年的参赛作品来自于主流流媒体服务中不常见的子类别：同性恋杀手图片。 “午夜之吻”有点像一个同性恋“大寒”，被同性恋“ 我知道你去年夏天做了什么 ”入侵，《午夜之吻》有一些有趣且无疑为原创的想法，但它分开了几次出现，特别在最后的场景及通常被认为是庆祝和邪恶的暴力之间那在调性上的不和谐跳跃中均有呈现。此外，《午夜之吻》的演员阵容也比最近几期要弱一些，尽管Blumhouse和Hulu都因连续带来16部出人意料的原创电影而受到赞誉。
Of course, the holiday du jour for film #16 is New Year's Eve, which has brought together a group of gay friends and their one straight female friend (which the official synopsis refers to as a “fruit fly,” teaching me my final new slang for 2019). They reunite with some news—one of them is engaged, for example—but also bring a bit of baggage to the desert retreat they're going to use as a home base for holiday revelry. The group used to play a game called “Midnight Kiss,” wherein each member tried to find someone new and special on New Year's Eve for that magical kind of kiss we only see in the movies. The film technically opens in 2013 during a NYE bash, so we know something happened related to the kiss that night, which will surface as 2019 turns to 2020.
And surface with a vengeance. Before the group has even reunited fully, one of them has been murdered in his shower, watching his masked killer throw glitter on him as he bleeds to death. Moments like this, or another in which a champagne bottle is literally shoved down someone's throat, clearly reach for a camp quotient that's too often lacking from the rest of the film. The murders are vicious, but they're relatively infrequent for the slasher genre, and our main protagonists don't even know there's a threat until after the hour mark.
Most of “Midnight Kiss” is actually a gay life crisis dramedy. As often happens when old friends get together, some personality conflicts arise, hidden resentments simmer to the surface, and there are some interesting discussions about modern gay culture in general (using apps to hook-ups vs. not doing so, for example). These scenes have more character resonance than we usually get from “Into the Dark,” especially lately, as a lot of them are based on gimmick more than character. And there's something funny about a slasher film in which pretty much everyone has had sex with one another. One of them even says they created the “Midnight Kiss” game so “We wouldn't be incestuous anymore.” It's a group of friends who arguably knows each other too well. Has one of them decided to end it all?
大多数类似“午夜之吻”的电影实际上都是同性恋生活危机的美好幻想。好比如老朋友聚在一起时，经常会发生一些性格上的冲突，所隐藏的不满情绪也会显露出来，还会出现一些关于现代同性恋文化的有趣讨论(例如，在社交软件上勾搭或不在社交软件上勾搭)。这些场景比我们通常从“ 走进黑暗”中获得的场景具有更多的人物共鸣，尤其是最近其中许多场景的设计更多地以它们产生的噱头为基准，而并非人物本身。一部恐怖片中也有些有趣的事，片中几乎每个人都互相发生过性关系。其中一个甚至说他们创立了“ 午夜之吻”游戏，因此“我们不再排斥彼此了。”这是一群对彼此了解非常深的朋友。他们中有人决定结束这一切吗?
Horror fans may be hoping for more “Scream” and less “Queer as Folk,” as “Midnight Kiss” is really more of a gay dramedy that then gets insanely violent for bursts, at least until the final act when it becomes more of a traditional slasher flick. But there's a clunky nature to the direction and performances as the night gets longer and bloodier. Director Carter Smith (“The Ruins”) can't quite find the tone—a movie that opens with a glitter-throwing sociopath needs to be way campier from beginning to end than “Midnight Kiss.” Still, it's nice to see “Into the Dark” end 2019 with something that feels ambitious and different. Despite the many ups and downs of this series, I'm actually kind of looking forward to 2020.