Midnight in the Switchgrass
A serial killer is on the loose in Pensacola, Florida as several young women have been found dead under similar circumstances. But nobody seems to care about catching the culprit. All except for determined local cop Byron (Emile Hirsch) and a ruthless FBI agent (Megan Fox), who, over the course of their separate investigations, decide to work together to catch the criminal and recover the latest victim. Randall Emmett’s (who has producer credits for Scorsese’s The Irishman and Silence) directorial debut Midnight in the Switchgrass sets its sights on being a familiar crime mystery. However, it falls short in just about every way imaginable.
Though the script includes all the standard genre tropes – the overworked protagonists who don’t have time for their family, the disgruntled colleagues who keep telling them to quit, long-winded speeches about doing the right thing – it seems like nobody involved in this project understood how to deploy these aspects effectively. Virtually every character is a vapid, two-dimensional caricature lacking in any personalisation. The only depth is portrayed through ludicrously melodramatic sob stories that are explained almost at random. This happens so often that it would’ve made a great running joke if the script wasn’t trying to take itself so seriously.
Likewise, the poor writing isn’t helped in any way by the consistently stiff acting from the entire cast. Everyone seems to have completely checked out from their performances within the first few minutes. Though no amount of effort could have made the script any more engaging, the biggest mystery of this feature is how Bruce Willis found himself starring alongside Fox.
Just as perplexing as the casting is the flick’s manic editing style. It has more nauseating quick cuts than a trashy music video and renders one action scene in a motel room almost impossible to watch as a result. An over-reliance on green-tinged flashback sequences of recent events only reinforces the number of bizarre choices that were made in putting together this mess. However, not even the post-production effects can compete with the abysmal soundtrack, which transforms otherwise harrowing moments into unabashed parodies with little more than slide guitars and some country twang.
From the opening narration to the derivative finale, every aspect of Midnight in the Switchgrass is fundamentally flawed and broken to an alarming degree.
Midnight in the Switchgrass is released digitally on demand on 13th August 2021.
Watch the trailer for Midnight in the Switchgrass here: