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Boone: Then it's true.
Peloquin: Everything is true. God's an astronaut. Oz is over the rainbow, and Midian is where the monsters live.
A masked Serial Killer is stalking the families of the city, killing them brutally, and Aaron Boone has been having nightmares where he sees the crimes through his eyes. In his nightmarish dreams he also sees the strange, undergound city of Midian and its monstrous inhabitants, feeling a strange pull towards it. The nightmares are so bad he quit the force and had been seeing Doctor Decker, who is worried he's getting worse. After Dr. Decker's "lithium" nearly gets him run over by a truck, he meets a touched man who babbles about Midian, and claims to know where it is. Deciding to take the chance, Boone heads there and promptly gets killed for being suspected of being the serial killer.
With a music score by Danny Elfman very reminiscent of Batman, Nightbreed is a gorgeous, disgusting movie with a captivating mythical mood. The titular Nightbreed aren't quite monsters, and the humans aren't exactly saints either.
This film contains examples of:
- Adaptation Expansion: The novel is short and rather laconic, not too heavy on descriptions and such. The movie expands not only the plots, but also gives us lot of details about the world and the creatures that dwell in Midian.
- Canada, Eh?: Not so much, actually. It takes place in Edmonton and points north, but beyond mentioning that fact, the setting has no effect on the story and nothing stereotypically Canadian is used or even mentioned.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Midians... though definetly not harmless.
- David Cronenberg: Notably, he didn't direct.
- Fan Service: When Rachel takes her clothes off to mesmerize a cop.
- Fantastic Nature Reserve: Midian.
- First-Episode Resurrection
- Game Face
- Gorgeous Gorgon
- Hidden Elf Village: Midian.
- Ho Yay: Peloquin's... hunger for Boone carries a metric ton of Does This Remind You of Anything?.
- Humans Are Bastards: What with having made the Nightbreed near extinct.
- I Just Want to Be Special: A few of humans in the film want to become Nightbreed, some to have their guilt absolved, some because they envy the Nightbreed's power.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Many of the Midianites. Discouraged since it tends to draw unwanted attention, though.
Kinski: If we eat him we break the law.
Peloquin: Oh fuck the law! I want meat!
- Intercontinuity Crossover: The comics, with Hellraiser.
- Godzilla Threshold: In the end with the Berserkers.
- Masquerade: Why they live in Midian.
- Monster Mash: The veritable freak show of Nightbreed.
- Our Vampires Are Different-- All of the Nighbreed are vampiric to some extent. They crave blood and flesh and the sunlight hurts them. But the variety of their appearances and individual traits is vast. Hell, there is even an crescent moon-faced vampire. Actually, Aaron Boone is the closest to "your average vampire", in his Nightbreed form.
- Scenery Porn: Especially the abandoned graveyard, which is gorgeously mysterious. Then it's more like Scenery Porn for Nightmare Fetishist, with amazingly detailed, imaginative and yet extremely scary and unpleasant Midian.
- Serial Killer: Dr. Decker.
- Sequel Hook: The masked murderer is revived as a Nightbreed, and Boone and the survivors have to find a new home.
- Tear Off Your Face: One character starts to cut his own face off as part of his passage into Midian.
- Later inverted, in that as a Nighbreed he peels off all of his skin but his face.
- Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Humanity has hunted the tribes of the moon, the Nightbreed, to near extinction for millennia.
Rachel: You call us monsters, but when you dream, it's of flying and changing, and living without death. You envy us. And what you envy...
Lori: ...we destroy.
- Viral Transformation: After Peloquin bites Boone and he's gunned down, it's this that turns him into a Nightbreed.
- Waking Up At the Morgue
- Weakened by the Light: Some Nightbreed burn in sunlight.