AFTER MIDNIGHT (1989)
I have good news and bad news. The good news...After Midnight is an anthology. The bad news...it's inadequate. A reasonably circumspect premise is expunged by idiotic characters (these dolts could be outwitted by slasher airheads), PG-13 violence and a ridiculous ending that strains to reticulate all three vignettes. The weak stories are quartered by an even weaker framing device. High School students are invited to their professor's house to learn about fear. Red flag! How did he manage to convince so many teenagers to sojourn at his humble abode? At night? After he already pistol-whipped one of his students in class? Jesus Christ, that's creepy. Fuck.
In any event, the characters take turns telling "scary" stories. My biggest problem with After Midnight is its utter lack of horror. There are no supernatural elements. Our villains - and I use that term loosely - range from a celebrity stalker to a pack of dogs. Normal, non-rabid dogs. Listen, I realize that the genre doesn't need ghosts or zombies to be enthralling, but it does need style. This flick is bone dry. At least the cast is teeming with cute chicks. Normally, I would break down each segment, but After Midnight doesn't deserve such finicky, demiurgic treatment. If I took something positive away from its sloth, it was the desire to revisit a better anthology. Now, where did I leave my copy of Cat's Eye?