MIDNIGHT DELIVERY begins when a mysterious gift is delivered to an unsuspecting woman’s door at the stroke of midnight. Before bed, the woman’s morbid fascination entices her to examine the gift, unleashing a sinister evil from within.
A woman (Danielle Guldin) is going about her nightly routine. Standing at the bathroom sink, cleaning her teeth (did you floss today by the way?) when there is a knock at the door. Not loud, but one of those courtesy knocks. She looks at the clock. Midnight. She looks through the peephole. This is where writer-director Nathan Crooker begins to have his way with us in a series of tense moments that have a sort of clinching physical effect on the viewer.
The woman opens her door to find a strange package delivered to her door. A creepy, tribal-looking helmet mask thing is removed from the package and she is not so much creeped out as she is mildly amused. Now, didn’t we learn anything from Karen Black’s run-in with tribal art? No, of course not. I mean, really if we had we wouldn’t get the joy of watching others learn their lessons. Lights out and that is when the night terrors really begin. As the woman keeps attempting to fall asleep, increasingly unnerving incidents startle her back to consciousness. Then the tribal art really hits the fan.
“…a series of tense moments that have a sort of clinching physical effect on the viewer.”
As the woman, Guldin is adequate. We are far more interested in the inevitable horrors that await rather than why a single woman would be totally cool with pulling a random shipping box into her apartment in the middle of the night, then try it on, then…
Short films are a fun thing to review and Midnight Delivery is no exception. With limited time, we have to learn the characters and the stakes, then get right to the good stuff. Here Crooker flexes his filmmaking muscles offering up his particular talent and obvious love for the seemingly endless seconds between expectation and payoff; Suspense. While we can hardly buy into the woman’s willingness to take a special delivery in the middle of the night, we simply don’t care as we want to get to the good stuff like the scene with the peephole. With horror and suspense it’s much more about the buildup and payoff and Crooker gets that.
Midnight Delivery is a fun watch. While the setup is something we have all seen before, we do get to enjoy moments of suspense and tension that are ultimately fresh and original.
Midnight Delivery (2018) Written and directed by Nathan Crooker. Starring Danielle Guldin. Midnight Delivery made its world premiere at the 2018 Dances With Films.
6 out of 10