RJ Bayley Reviews: The Midnight Man Ritual

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The Midnight Man Ritual is, apparently, a game used to punish rule breakers in pagan religions since times long ago. I say ‘apparently’ as a great deal of the sources to be found on the ritual take the form of ‘creepypasta’, essentially internet horror stories that are pasted and modified Chinese-whisper style around forums, mostly notably 4Chan. And as we all know, anything with even moderate ties to 4Chan must be taken with a large amount of salt.

The Midnight Man Ritual, the film, by Youtubers 8-Bit Massacre, is based on this creepypasta. It’s a small seven and a half minutes, and there really isn’t very much to say about it. It takes the form of found footage, more precisely the found footage film’s sub-genre, the rule breaking found footage film: a movie which is shot in the style of a found footage film, but, throws in elements like intertitles which could not exist if the footage was indeed presented in its raw, ‘found’ state.

The film is the kind of generic one you’d precisely expect given the explanation above. It’s filmed wandering around a house, as instructed by the ritual, by candle light, a mixture of nervously peeking round corners and asking the Midnight Man if he likes the protagonist’s t-shirt with bravado.

It’s actually quite boring. Even the way the Midnight Man is finally delivered to us, with the camera blinking in and out of darkness, has been done a million times before. On the plus side, Midnight Man himself does have a creepy, if not original looking, face. There is one very, very decent scare at the end. Again, utterly derivative, but well carried off. With that in mind, was the journey worth it for the pay off in the end? No, not really.

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