True story – there have been a handful of occasions in my movie-watching/writing life where I have straight up felt special.

Getting to spend the weekend with cult exploitation director Pete Walker was one (I was writing a book about him see) – and working with director Richard Loncraine on a possible re-release of supernatural gem Full Circle being another.

So if I tell you that watching the horror career of writer/director Katie Bonham blossom belongs in that rarefied company you hopefully get my drift.

See, in a magnificent act of serendipity I met Katie when we both were sent on a set visit to a British horror flick that I don’t think anyone has ever seen (2015’s Writer’s Retreat anyone?). Katie let slip that one of her favourite films was Bob Clark’s Black Christmas, then that she had made films of her own – and I was sold.

Flash forward the best part of five years and Bonham has become something of a Frightfest regular, her brand of reality-based horror (tinged with psychological shenanigans) thrilling audiences in a series of eye-catching shorts (her previous effort, Mab, being a major step forward).

2019 sees Katie back on the block, this time with a new short film Midnight, another offering that throws in what must now be considered one of her specialities – the fusing of timelines.

We are introduced to three characters – who may be connected – the elderly Eddie (Ian Recordon), the happy-go-lucky Jamie (Alana Wallace) and the more pensive Karin (Eleanor Crosswell).

Each has their own journey of discovery to make – journeys that admittedly may not end well for all of them…

To give away too much would spoil the delights Midnight has, with Bonham ratcheting up the tension at certain moments, while also demanding an audience’s attention for maximum impact.

Midnight is simply a clever piece of work – another Bonham trait, with the writer/director refusing to spoonfeed or mollycoddle her audience, allowing the quality and pace of her storytelling to reel the viewer in.

Everything you need to piece the story together is there – there are no tricks or gimmicks – and Katie has enough confidence in her ability to let her skills (and those of the impressive cast) do the talking.

The short’s design looks great, the soundtrack choices work well and the whole package comes across as very polished.

Midnight is the work of someone on the cusp of something big – and I look forward to the day when I can say I was there at the start of it all.

Seek it out if you can…

Arrow Video Frightfest Review: Midnight
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About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle