Dinner Movie 4: Midnight Snack – Review
What could possibly go wrong with a planned camping trip? Well, as any horror fan would know, quite a bit. Dylan discovers this the hard way when Oscar and Steven’s trip goes awry, complete with a mysterious artefact and a powerful demonic force. And worst of all – no s’mores.
Friends Oscar (Joshua Kachnycz) and Steven (Nathan Landis Funk) decide to go camping, but when they realise that Oscar has forgotten the Marshmallows for smores, they decide to cancel the trip and return home early. Because camping without smores, what is the point?
Despite the trip now cancelled they try to make the most of the situation and decide to camp out in Oscars living room. Weary of leaving the boys home alone Nana (Miranda Leiggi) wisely invites over Dylan (Aleksandra Svetlichnaya) to keep an eye on things whilst she is gone. As Oscar and Steven attempt to recreate the events of camping at home, they soon prove themselves to be inept with a series of comical calamities. Thankfully Dylan is on hand to stop them from causing any serious damage to both the house and themselves. When searching for a board game to play however, Steven suddenly finds an innocent looking box in the bottom draw, which when its opened releases a powerful demonic force. Things don’t seem too bad at first, but when one of the group becomes possessed things take a rather sinister turn.
Midnight Snack is the fourth film in the series from writer-director Aleksandra Svetlichnaya (which has been released ahead of the third film). As with the previous movies in the Dinnerverse series (Dinner Movie (2015), Dinner Movie 2: Breakfast (2016)) Midnight Snack managed to amalgamate several genres and a platter of ideas seamlessly into one film. Whilst still innkeeping with the unique style of the Dinnerverse and retaining the main cast, Aleksandra continues to develop the series with each film delivering something original and unexpected.
The series continues to get stronger with each entry and this is the funniest film so far. With the visual slapstick performances and comical development of the rather bizarre events, (which seem to be a common occurrence within the Dinnerverse) there is a perfect balance of comedy and horror. Joshua Kachnycz stands out once again with his playful and overly expressive performance as Oscar. His enthusiastic energy proving to be a complete contrast against the uptight persona of Nathan Landis Funk, who makes his first appearance in the series as Steven. The comedy between the two works brilliantly in the film who have a chemistry despite their conflicting personalities, and when it comes to camping they both prove to be as incompetent as each other.
A surprise entry to the series is Nana who makes a brief appearance in the film. As a character who we often hear mentioned, it is nice to finally see her, sort of. Our view of Nana is from the knee down, so there is still an element of mystery which in retrospective reminded me of Nanny from the cartoon TV series Muppet Babies (1984-1991).
*Spoiler – Throughout the series, we have been used to seeing Dylan in action as the strong female lead, but this time Aleksandra adds another twist to the usual formula. When the demonic force is released it is Dylan who is possessed, so this time it is up to Steven, Oscar and Hamilton to work together to save Dylan. We don’t get to see Aleksandra fighting in the latest entry, but she does show a darker side with her performance as a demon. Never short of ideas, I loved the neon glow they give to Dylan once she has been possessed and the way she manoeuvres with her distorted body movements. She is brilliant as the hero but proves she can be just as good when it comes to being bad.
Despite being introduced later in the film, the funniest performance for me comes from Ricardo Segarra as Hamilton, whose ongoing commentary and reactions to the events were hilarious. One of the highlights for me was the commentary of a ‘smores incident’ during a post-credits sequence, which despite its simplicity had me laughing once again.
I have always been a huge supporter of the Dinnerverse series because I have always been impressed by the films creativity on a modest budget and the ability to compact so many different genres, styles and ideas into one short film. It is these elements that leaves you wanting to watch Midnight Snack again, because it is full of subtle references which you only start to notice during subsequent viewings.
Midnight Snack is the four entries in the series, which has been released prior to the third film. Which is good news for fans at it means there is still another course to come. I for one am still hungry for more and looking forward to seeing what Aleksandra does next.
Midnight snack will no doubt be touring the festival circuits and if you get a chance I recommend that you check it out. You can keep up to date regarding the Dinner Movie series by following the Dinnerverse on Social Media.
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Dinner Movie Short Movie
Dinner Movie 2: Breakfast Movie
Aleksandra Svetlichnaya returns with the latest entry in the Dinnerverse series, in which a camping trip goes from a bad to worse when a demonic force is released