“Post Meridian” showcases Xiao’s experience with horror genre

Micah Paisner

Sophomore Jinglei Xiao finally got a chance to show his new film, “Post Meridian,” Saturday April 10. The 40-minute film was shown three times, which gave a broader range of people a chance to come see it. This proved to be a good decision, as the turnout was quite good.
“Post Meridian” is your typical horror film. This may sound like a condemnation of the film, but that is not the case. Rather, Xiao is aware of what makes a horror film, and he included all of the necessary elements and scenes. The film follows a group of six people on their way to a house in the middle of nowhere. One of the six turns out to be a psychotic killer who picks them off one by one.
While the plot was very similar to horror films such as “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” the directing and editing were what made the film stand out. There were several impressive shots throughout the film, including many outdoor high angle shots. The abundance of shots in the outdoor scenes shows the vastness of the landscape, which highlights the hopelessness of survival for the characters.
Xiao, an avid horror fan, first came up with the idea for “Post Meridian” after working on the set of “Project Solitude,” a Hollywood-produced horror film, last year. Of his experience on the set, Xiao said, “I’ve learned a lot of filming techniques… and making a film is fun.”
Xiao made the film with the help of several students, as well as AM Theater Company and the LU Film Production Club.
Like many other horror films, the acting and script were not the strong points. Xiao credited this weakness to writing the script during his first year in America. He mentioned that some of the characters’ lines seem awkward simply because of when he wrote the film.
While this is true, at times, the awkwardness of the dialogue gives the film more character. One such example occurs when the killer, finally unmasked, explains that his girlfriend was “so excellent!” Lines like this make the viewer laugh, which aids in dissociation from the violence.
Also, the stereotypical – and slightly laughable – dialogue alludes to other horror films. In many cases, a horror film is not successful when the dialogue is too believable; it takes away from the experience.
Another slight problem in the film is that there are no clues throughout the middle of the film concerning the killer and his motives for killing. Subtle clues would have enhanced the film and made the ending all the more satisfying. Regardless, the ending is very good. The final showdown between the killer and the last survivor is well shot and highly memorable.
Overall, this was a very impressive effort from Xiao. The film took around a year to complete, and the hard work shows in the final product. Xiao’s next project will focus on a Chinese urban legend about not calling a number that appears in dreams.