Grimmfest 2020 Film Feature - Ten Minutes to Midnight

Runtime: 72 mins

Directed by: Erik Bloomquist

Starring: Caroline Williams, Nicole Kang, Nicholas Tucci

Grimmfest Feature by: Darren Tilby


Ten Minutes to Midnight movie poster

Synopsis: On the eve of her forced retirement, veteran late-night radio host Amy Marlowe and her uneasy staff are trapped inside WLST Radio station by a violent hurricane, while a mysterious new replacement shadows her every move.


Grimmfest say: Imagine if Stretch had never run into that pesky family of cannibals, but had just kept on working at that tiny radio station; thirty-four years on, and she's an increasingly embittered, ageing rock chick, struggling to hold on to her youth while facing the prospect of replacement by an ambitious younger woman. Such is the starting point for Erik Bloomquist's mischievous and thought-provoking movie, which sees Caroline Williams returning to the late-night DJ slot to confront a whole new set of monsters. Combining a loving, genre-savvy homage to classic 80s horror cinema with a surprisingly powerful and sympathetic meditation on age, particularly as it affects women, and the metaphorical “death” of losing the job and the life you feel valued in, the film is as effective in its quieter, more contemplative, character-based moments, as in its more gaudy genre flourishes. Anchored by a beautifully judged performance from Williams, and with a fine sense of retro-styling in its choice of title sequence, music cues, and colour palette, this is a film with real heart. Even if it does feel the need to put a stake through it.


What I'm Expecting: For Ten Minutes to Midnight, I'm expecting a full-fledged homage to the horror films of the 1980s; a splatterfest of gore and goo; an entertaining no brainer to appease those brought up during the golden age of cinema (I know the general consensus is that ended in the 60s, but we all know that's a lie). I'd like to see extensive use of practical special effects - they're always better than CGI and in movies like this, they just make sense. But, most of all, I'm excited to see how the filmmakers have handled this "mediation on age, particularly as it affects women". This sounds really exciting and could be the making of this film; setting it apart from others like it...or it could end up being horribly problematic.