Directed by: Sonja O’Hara
Distributed by: Lionsgate
Written by Jeff Sparks
“Mid-Century” is one of those movies where I knew I was in for a bad time within the first ten minutes. Right away the Hallmark channel-type production bares its low-budget teeth with bland cinematography and poor acting in the first few scenes and it only gets worse from there. The film centers on a couple who fall victim to serial killers, ghosts, and secret societies when they rent a house that was built in the 1950s. The imagery from the opening credits leans heavily into that 1950s-type vibe. With the film having the always impressive actress Sarah Hay and the opening credits reminding me of the opening of “Fallout 4”, I thought that writer Mike Stern and director Sonja O’Hara would give me a lot to chew on but unfortunately, they totally drop the elevated 1950s atmosphere and hardly give Hay’s anything to do. The rest of the film also suffers from problems commonly seen in low-budget horror features such as awkward editing, bad dialogue, poor special effects, a generic score, and an unimpressive execution at an attempt at thematic elements.
Besides Hay, the movie also stars Shane West, Chelsea Gilligan, and Stephen Lang. Bruce Dern is also in the film but fans of his should be warned that he only appears in two scenes. The best part of the film is easily Sarah Hay who plays Marie Verdin, a woman forced into marriage by a serial killer who uses his business connections to form a secret society. Marie dies in the fifties but comes back in the present time as a ghost to persuade visitors of the house she died in to stop the secret society. Although her presence on the screen is the best part of the film, her character also brings up more issues and contrivances with the abilities she can and can not do as a ghost throughout the film. This is the least of the script’s problems as the rest of it has your classic problems of conveniences and inconveniences happening at the exact moment they are needed. Overall I don’t have much good to say about the film other than the presence of Hay and Stephen Lang who also gives his best effort despite the low quality of the film and the talent on display.
“Mid-Century” is available to rent or purchase on VOD.