The Midnight Meat Train is a 2008 horror film based on Clive Barker’s 1984 short story of the same name, which can be found in Volume One of Barker’s collection Books of Blood. The film follows a photographer who attempts to track down a serial killer dubbed the “Subway Butcher”, and discovers more than he bargained for under the city streets.
Leon is a vegan photographer who wants to capture unique, gritty shots of the city and the people who live in it. He is crushed when, instead of giving him his big break, gallery owner Susan instead criticizes him for not taking enough risks. Emboldened, he heads into the city’s subway system at night, where he takes pictures of an impending sexual assault before eventually saving the woman. The next day, he discovers she has gone missing. Intrigued by the mystery, he investigates reports of similar disappearances. His investigation leads him to a butcher named Mahogany, whom he suspects has been killing subway passengers for the past three years.
Leon presents his photos to the police, but Detective Hadley disbelieves him and, instead, casts suspicion on his motives. Leon’s involvement quickly turns into a dark obsession, upsetting his waitress girlfriend Maya, who is as disbelieving of his story as the police. After stalking Mahogany and barely escaping, Leon follows Mahogany onto the last subway train of the night, only to witness a bloodbath. The butcher kills several passengers and hangs their bodies on meat hooks. After a brief scuffle with Mahogany, Leon passes out on the train’s floor. He awakes the next morning in a slaughterhouse with strange markings carved into his chest.
A concerned Maya and her friend Jurgis examine Leon’s photos of Mahogany, leading them to the killer’s apartment. After breaking into the butcher’s home, Jurgis is captured, though Maya escapes with timetables that record over 100 years of murders on the subway. Maya goes to the police but finds Hadley as skeptical of her story as Leon’s. When Hadley presses Maya to return the timetables, Maya demands answers. At gunpoint, Hadley directs Maya to take the midnight train to find Jurgis. Leon, unaware of Maya’s involvement, heads to a hidden subway entrance in the slaughterhouse, arming himself with several slaughterhouse knives and wearing a butcher’s apron.