2 1/2 StarsMidnight Chronicles is a curiously low-key, yet ambitiously mounted medieval drama with the complex mythology of a cable miniseries mixed with the off beat style of David Lynch’s eccentric Dune adaptation. Audience members not familiar with the source material may not recognize this film as having an association to the Dungeons and Dragons role playing game Midnight. It’s telling that the producers didn’t use the D&D moniker anywhere in the title. Perhaps it was a conscious effort to distance this movie from the horrendous previous films that have fallen under that banner. Whatever the case, Midnight Chronicles is a better picture that strains to tell its elaborate story within the limitations of its obviously inadequate budget.
Uniformly strong acting and clear well thought out dialogue are present. The compelling storyline and interesting somewhat scheming characters make up for the lack of action and the obvious limitations, particularly in the overuse of specific sets. However the small doses of swashbuckling and sword fighting is so laughable I’ve seen high school theater productions staged more adequately. The real problem is that around the fifty minute mark a certain dullness started to creep in and despite adding elements of the supernatural and horror it was unable to shake that monotony.
Director Christian T. Petersen does the most with the very obvious limitations of a small budget. Rumor has it this film was originally intended as a pilot for a television series that was never picked up. I think they should have focused on presenting these as a low-rent trilogy of Lord of the Rings knock offs. Since this series was never put into production, I’m assuming this is the end of the Midnight Chronicles. That’s a shame as I was just getting invested in this fantasyland.
Director: Christian T. Petersen
Stars: Charles Hubbell, Matt Amendt,Steve Sweere