Midnight Special, Jeff Nichols’ ingenious sci-fi thriller, makes it to the small screen tonight on Sky Premier at 9pm (Friday 9 December 2016).
The story is deliberately opaque, opening in a grubby, blacked-out motel room with eight-year-old Alton, played by Jaeden Lieberher, quietly reading his comics on the floor while the TV in the corner reports his abduction by his father, Roy (Michael Shannon), and an accomplice (Joel Edgerton).
This isn’t a tale of an estranged father abducting his son, though. Alton is a boy with unnatural abilities and is in hiding to escape the clutches of NSA, Federal authorities and a collection of religious zealots who would use him to their own ends.
Among them is Third Heaven Ranch preacher Sam Shepherd, from whom Alton escaped, whose evangelical Christian cult believe they must have the boy to ensure salvation when a forthcoming Rapture-like event occurs.
Midnight Special is a film which reminds us that carefully crafted tales allow our own imagination to participate and offer far greater value and engagement than the high-octane, mega-budget sci-fi franchises that seem to plague multiplexes. In short, this movie is intelligent, thought-provoking and very, very watchable. Also stars Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver.
Midnight Special available on Sky Premier from Friday 9 December