The Midnight Man could have been so much better, but the story is too weak. With both Lin Shaye and Robert Englund in the cast, the horror force is very strong and you shouldn’t miss it!

I really wanted to like The Midnight Man simply because I adore Lin Shaye. Sure, Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger) is in this movie as well, but it’s all about Lin Shaye.

That’s not just my personal and very biased opinion. Lin Shaye really is in many scenes and key to the story. Robert Englund has much more of a “guest star” character.

And, of course, you should definitely watch The Midnight Man. But not because it’s a brilliant and innovative new horror movie. It really isn’t. However, it does offer some nice horror elements and once again, it is obvious why Lin Shaye is one of the biggest horror names right now.

You can watch the trailer for The Midnight Man right here or continue reading our review below.

The big horror reunion

Robert Englund was one of the biggest horror names of the 1980s thanks to the Freddy Krueger character. But what many may not know is that A Nightmare on Elm Street from 1984 also had Lin Shaye in the cast. She was a teacher at the school where the very tired teenagers tried to stay awake.

Since then, Robert Englund has reprised the role of Freddy Krueger several times, while Lin Shaye is approaching 200 acting credits. She’s always done lots of horror (and comedy such as There’s Something about Mary) and has become the star of the Insidious horror movie franchise.

And yes, the very best part of The Midnight Man is every single scene featuring these two horror icons. That’s not to say the other actors aren’t good. These are just brilliant… especially Miss Shaye!

The Midnight Man (2016) Review

Stereotypical horror characters

There was a bit too much predictability in The Midnight Man. Mostly because the younger characters were so damn stereotypical.

They pretty much did all the things Scream taught us we should never do in a horror movie. They split up, leave one person alone, and generally didn’t think things through. I know, I know, there wouldn’t be a story if these kids were smart.

But there’s being a bit careless and then there’s simply being stupid. Why would they even want to play the midnight man game in the first place? There is absolutely nothing intriguing about it. Well, sure, maybe if they were 10-year-olds, but they’re not.

The two lead roles are played by Emily Haine (TV shows The 100 and Fargo) and Grayson Gabriel (TV shows The Killing and Once Upon a Time). Both do what they can with their characters, but it really isn’t very interesting. Mostly because of all the bad decisions that make no sense.

The Midnight Man (2016) Review

This guy knows horror

The Midnight Man was written and directed by Travis Zariwny. Under the name Travis Z, we’ve already seen quite a bit of horror from Travis Zariwny. He directed the remake of Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever from 2016 and Intruder from the same year.

The story for this movie is by Rob Kennedy, who also directed his own version back in 2013.

It’s not that I didn’t like the look and feel of The Midnight Man. In fact, I felt everything worked really well when it came to setting the horror mood and utilizing Lin Shaye and Robert Englund. However, I simply did not care about the main protagonist.

And when that’s the case, I just know I won’t be watching the movie again. Even if there are clips featuring Lin Shaye that could easily be reaction gifs useful on a daily basis.

For this reason alone, I recommend any horror fan to watch the movie.

The Midnight Man was released in limited theaters and on VOD January 19, 2018.


Director: Travis Zariwny
Writers: Rob Kennedy, Travis Zariwny
Cast: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Grayson Gabriel, Gabrielle Haugh, Emily Haine


A girl and her friends find a game in the attic that summons a creature known as The Midnight Man, who uses their worst fears against them.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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