The Moonlight Man is a 2017 American slasher horror film based on Danny Donahue's short horror film of the same name. The film stars Halston Sage, Aiden Lovekamp, Beau Mirchoff, Elizabeth Daily, Scout Taylor-Compton, Cameron Deane Stewart, Caleb Landry Jones, Marie Avgeropoulos, Sarah Wright, Steven McQueen, Doug Jones, Jordan Pressler, Tyler Mane, Rolando Boyce, Casey Fichtner and Dustin Milligan.
TaglineStay away from HIS light!
Jessica Parks is a 23 year-old college student who is beyond fed up with the abuse she has suffered through in the hands of her alcoholic mother. On top of that stress, she is also the unwed mother of a 10 year-old son named Connor, who she strives everyday to protect and keep healthy. Due to the constant abuse from her mother, Jessica decides to take her son along with her to a weekend getaway she's having with a group of friends. They're heading up to Wayside Mountain, a quiet, peaceful resort located by a lake that's been abandoned for years. Jessica believes this is the perfect getaway from all her stress, having her son and loyal friends by her side for a relaxing weekend full of swimming, campfires and even some inevitable sex. Unfortunately, Wayside Mountain is also the location where a father and son lived until the son was brutally killed. Legend has it that his malevolent spirit haunts the lake and only appears in the moonlight, and now Jessica and her friends must fight to make it out by morning before the tall, slender, claw-fingered monster gets to them first.
Halston Sage as Jessica Parks - She is a 23 year-old single mother who lives with her mother, Sharon, and her 10 year-old son, Connor. Jessica lives a very difficult life surrounded in an uncomfortable living environment. Her mother is an alcoholic, and she suffers quite a bit of verbal and occasionally physical abuse in her hands. When Jessica was a child, her father left the family and as a result, she spiraled into a deep depression of loneliness and abandonment. Once in eighth grade, Jessica fell in childish love with a boy whom she slept with and subsequently became pregnant with a son. Her partner abandoned her once he found out she was pregnant, and Jessica was forced to live with her emotionally unstable mother in an apartment. There, she proceeded to raise her beautiful son with all the love and warmth her own mother never displayed. Despite the difficulty of raising a child, Jessica keeps her head up high and shares a close relationship with her son, Connor, and enjoys her close friends who keep her centered. Jessica holds back the grief of her father leaving, and being left alone to raise her child, but her gorgeous looks and supportive friends make her life significantly better than it would be otherwise. She has started a new life in college with a romantic interest in Cort, who she feels she can confide in and open up to about anything.
Aiden Lovekamp as Connor Parks - He is Jessica's 10 year-old son and the grandson of Sharon. Connor is a quiet, introverted boy who has some trouble in making friends but enjoys his close relationship with his mother. Living in a bleak home environment dominated by his abusive grandmother leaves Connor feeling depressed off and on, and his facial expressions show his sadness very transparently. Connor's favorite activity is watching old-fashioned cartoons because it makes him feel like he's in the middle of a more peaceful, happy existence. He even feels like he can connect with the characters on the cartoon as though they're his friends, and even hides secretive envious feelings toward them for living on such simple, exciting and energetic lifestyles, even though it's all fake. Connor does whatever he can to make Jessica happier and feels peace when he sees his mother smiling, but also represses his feelings of anger, guilt and anxiety toward never meeting his father. Though she can be cold and distant, Connor vows to remain by his mother's side and do whatever he can to protect her.
Beau Mirchoff as Cort - He is a handsome, charismatic love interest of Jessica's and one of the people she meets at college. Cort is a member of the theater program at his school and would like to make a career in acting, despite the knowlege of how difficult it can be to major in that field. He enjoys performing in front of a crowd and doesn't feel ashamed to admit it, as it's certainly not the most masculine activity a heartthrobbing jock like him can pursue. Cort becomes romantically involved with Jessica almost instantly upon meeting her, and forms a tight bond with her 10 year-old son, Connor. Jessica doesn't feel like she can completely trust any guy after the one she first fell in love with ran away. However, Cort accepts the challenge and behaves like a gentleman around Jessica, offering to help out with Connor and listening to what she has to say.
Elizabeth Daily as Sharon Parks - She is Jessica's abusive alcoholic mother and Connor's grandmother. After a few failed marriages, Sharon took up a life of drinking and hard partying, and as a result turned into a cold, heartless woman with little compassion and warmth. She lives with her 23 year-old daughter and 10 year-old grandson in a suitably sized apartment, where she drinks heavily and argues constantly with Jessica over anything. Sharon will even hit her daughter when she feels disrespected, and spends very little time getting to know Connor. She disapproves of Jessica's lifestyle and thinks of her as trashy for becoming impregnated by a boy who left her immediately, but perhaps takes her anger out on Jessica for making similar mistakes that she has made in her life.
Scout Taylor-Compton as Lindsay - She is Jessica's best friend and closest companion. Lindsay is a bubbly, charming young woman who knows how to have fun despite her desire to earn good grades and remain free of common teen trappings such as sex, drugs and alcohol. She treats Jessica with the compassion and understanding that she doesn't receive at home, and aims to keep her best friend's spirits high out of the kindness of her heart. Lindsay is currently dating Robbie and doesn't always agree with his immature decisions, but maintains her loyalty to him because she feels that her life could end up with him permanently in it.
Cameron Deane Stewart as Robbie - He is Lindsay's boyfriend and one of Jessica's closest friends. Robbie is a freewheeling, marvelously immature individual who maintains a decent balance between fun and adventurous, and sweet and kindhearted. He decides to take his friends on a trip to Wayside Mountain, a resort located near an abandoned lake where a young boy was brutally beaten to death by his father. Unaware of this event, Robbie stages this trip mainly because he loves to party and have fun, but also because he wants to take Jessica out of her awful home environment for a long weekend of relaxation and recovery.
Caleb Landry Jones as Martin - He is one of Robbie's best friends who tags along on the weekend trip to Wayside Mountain. Martin is someone who just likes to go with the flow and enjoy himself every now and again, and even possesses a wicked talent in cooking. He offers to cook for his friends during their stay and enjoys both smoking marijuana and scary legendary stories, making this trip just located near a murder site very exciting for him. Martin is fascinated by forgotten horror stories in history and loves to discuss them over a nice campfire, and also develops an unexpected romance with fellow acquaintance, Katerina.
Marie Avgeropoulos as Katerina - She is one of Robbie's friends who he invites on the weekend getaway to Wayside Mountain. Katerina is a mature, book-smart and driven young woman who wants to pursue a career in hairstyling, as she is very adept with styling her friends' hair as well as her own. She's often flirted with because of her beautiful looks, but usually keeps to herself as a way of avoiding getting hurt. However, once on the trip Katerina begins to develop strong feelings for Martin, who wins her over through his passion and ability to cook a decent meal.
Sarah Wright as Breanna - She is a wickedly beautiful, sex-crazed cheerleader who currently lacks any real lifelong goals. Breanna can certainly be bitchy and sarcastic with other people, but it contributes to her offbeat charm and sexy appeal. She is in a committed relationship with Zach and often uses her shallow, irresistible personality as a technique to get him to do whatever she wants. What Breanna lacks in brains and decency, she more than makes up for with a cheery outlook, optimism and ability to drink, have sex and just have fun whenever the opportunity is present.
Steven McQueen as Zachary - He is a handsome, athletic jock who is most famous for his performance on the track field. Zach enjoys running which is why he's been active in track all throughout high school, and his eye-catching good looks win over the hearts of plenty of girls on campus. Zach may appear superficial, but he actually displays a kind heart and determination to help his friends if they're in some sort of trouble. He is loyal to Breanna and puts up with her even when she's at her more annoying stages, only because he has true feelings for her.
Doug Jones as Johnny Benson/Moonlight Man - Johnny Benson was born near Wayside Mountain to an abusive, alcoholic man named Oskar Benson, who constantly beat and insulted his poor son out of his hatred toward the world and God for taking his wife away shortly after she gave birth to Johnny. As a young child growing up in a beautiful home across from a lake, Johnny suffered endlessly from his father's disapproval and intense beatings. He is a quiet, introverted boy lacking any real identity, and as a result of Oskar's abuse, Johnny is forced to leave school and remain uneducated because of the teachers' concerns with his everyday bruises. Forced to remain in his house almost all day, Johnny is shown no love by his father, who will go into fits of rage and hit Johnny constantly with a stick until he bleeds, and insert pins and needles into Johnny's fingernails. The only form of peace that poor Johnny ever comes by is the moonlight. Whenever the full moon sets in the sky and shines off the water, Johnny will go outside and just stand near the lake watching the beautiful moonlight, making him feel happier and less depressed. One night outside the lake house, Johnny is beaten and burned by Oskar right under the moonlight, and he's left to die an innocent, unloved adolescent. Nearly 25 years later, Johnny is resurrected by the moonlight that would bring him peace as a child, but is now a malevolent, sadistic monster who goes by the legendary name of the "Moonlight Man". Johnny wears a black hooded robe underneath a double breasted trench coat, and both of his hands still have the pins and needles embedded in the fingernails of his eight fingers. He wears a pair of hunting boots and black work pants, and only in the moonlight does Johnny reveal his deteriorated face. His evil spirit resides at the lake house on Wayside Mountain and intends on killing anyone who comes near his territory as an act of vengeance toward society for his abuse and suffering as a child. Johnny uses his clawed fingers to stab his victims or uses telekinesis to cause awful things to happen supernaturally.
Jordan Pressler as Young Johnny Benson
Tyler Mane as Oskar Benson - Oskar Benson is a large, intimidating man and the park ranger who works in the vicinity of Wayside Mountain, living on the outskirts of the lake nearby. Oskar has lived his entire life in the lake house with his adolescent son, Johnny, while his beloved wife passed away shortly after Johnny's birth. As a result of his loneliness, Oskar abuses his innocent child, both verbally and physically for no psychologically explained reason. Perhaps he views Johnny as a constant reminder of his wife's untimely death, and will lash out on his son by beating him with a stick until he bleeds, throwing him against walls and embedding sharp pins and needles inside his fingernails. While Johnny is left outside bleeding, Oskar will drink himself to sleep and even forces his son out of school due to his constant desire to attack him. After Johnny dies once the final beating is executed, Oskar disappears into the night and is never seen or heard from again.
Rolando Boyce as Tom Wallace - He is a police officer who works in the vicinity of Wayside Mountain. Tom is young, handsome and very involving when it comes to helping out someone in trouble, though he proves slightly naive when it comes to believing in evil. Tom is thought of as a relatively kindhearted man who does his job well while avoiding the stereotypes associated with authority figures, such as eating donuts and caring very little for others. His gun keeps him safe and in control, but he's just a little too trusting to avoid the troubles that will face him.
Casey Fichtner as Heather - She is a simple, pretty woman about town who plays a very little role in the trouble around the Wayside mythos. Heather dresses up in typical modern feminine clothing, and keeps to herself in order to avoid trouble. However, when faced with something out of her control, Heather will definitely cower up and turn to somebody else for help. Relying quite a bit on her cellphone and fancy Mercedes to get around, Heather is not thoroughly helpless and knows how to keep herself calm and safe, but she's far from a powerful individual.
Dustin Milligan as Jeff - He is Heather's boyfriend who runs a local disco bar near Wayside Mountain. Jeff is well-built and pretty tough, and is loyal enough to run to his girlfriend's side whenever she's in trouble. Though he can become annoyed with Heather's constant cries for help, Jeff is strong and loving enough to always oblige. If Heather needs a tire replaced, Jeff will be there with that tire, and if he's being called for moral support, he'll most certainly come running.
Johnny Benson - After Oskar goes through one of his usual outbursts inside his home, he grabs Johnny out of his seat in the kitchen and throws him on the floor. Johnny crawls away as Oskar throws chairs and smashes plates out of anger, and Johnny continues to crawl toward the exit. He crawls out of the house through the front door and crawls into the woods right underneath the moonlight. Oskar walks outside into the woods wielding a crowbar, and he breaks Johnny's legs with it before beating him over the head. Johnny curls up into a ball on the ground and begs his father to stop, but Oskar ruthlessly hits his son over the head and legs with the crowbar. Oskar then takes out his pins and needles from his pocket and grabs Johnny's hand. Oskar then proceeds to insert the needles inside of Johnny's fingernails, causing him to scream in agony. Oskar then grabs Johnny's other hand and inserts his pins and needles into Johnny's other 4 fingernails. Johnny cries out in pain while he's lying on the ground, and Oskar pours gasoline all over Johnny's face, before lighting a match and dropping it onto his face. Johnny's face then burns up in flames as he lays on the ground screaming helplessly.
Jeff - After he finishes replacing Heather's tire so she can drive home, Jeff intends on finding his own car to do the same. While walking around the dark wooded area alone in the night, Jeff suddenly hears a rustling noise coming from the forest. He turns around and looks in the dark woods asking if someone is there, but no one responds. Jeff is mildly confused but continues to walk to his car right around the corner. Once Jeff approaches his car, the glass windshield is broken, implying someone broke into his car. Jeff is now worried and frustrated, and then hears another noise coming from the woods. He calls out once more and slowly walks near the bushes, and after a moment of silence, Jeff feels his leg being slashed and clawed, making him scream in pain and fall on the ground. Jeff begins to panic and crawl away, before standing up and running on his wounded leg. While he's running, Jeff stops in the middle of the street and screams for help, but no one is around. He turns around and sees the Moonlight Man standing under a street light. The mysterious figure reveals his bloody clawed fingers underneath his trenchcoat, and Jeff asks him what he wants. Jeff turns around and when he looks back, the Moonlight Man is gone. As Jeff stands in the street silently, the Moonlight Man appears behind him and stabs Jeff through the chest with his clawed fingers. Jeff bleeds internally from the mouth, and the Moonlight Man releases his claws from Jeff's body, and he falls head first on the street.
Martin - While Martin is cooking food for his friends on the grill outside, he hears crying sounds coming from the woods. Martin is suspicious immediately, and calls out for someone, but no one responds. Martin, overcome by curiosity, puts down his spatula and slowly approaches the woods, calling out for anyone in need of help. Martin walks further into the woods and looks around, but there's only more trees and bushes. Martin decides to walk back to his campsite, and while he's walking, something is following him from behind. Suddenly, Martin is thrown onto the ground. He attempts to stand back up, but the Moonlight Man drags him into the woods while Martin screams for help. He then disappears into the night and is eventually dropped onto the ground from a tree, covered in blood and scratch marks across his back and face.
Zachary - While Zach is jogging around the open roads late at night, he stops to sit down on a boulder and drink some water. Zach looks at the peaceful lake water and notices the moonlight shining off of it, then decides to walk over to get a closer look. Zach stands underneath the moonlight to stare at the water, and he hears a voice say "this is my spot!" Zach asks if someone is there, and looks around the woods but sees no one. When Zach turns his head back around, the Moonlight Man is standing in front of him and Zach falls on the ground in shock. Zach then gets up and runs away to warn his friends, but while he's running, the Moonlight Man jumps out from behind a tree and stabs Zach in the stomach with his clawed fingers, causing him to choke on his blood and the claws remain deep inside his abdomen.
Breanna - While waiting for Zach to come back from running, Breanna takes off all of her clothes and goes skinny dipping into the lake. She swims around the lake and calls out for Zach thinking that he's around and looking for a way to scare her. Breanna screams out that she's not wearing any clothes, and continues to swim around in the water. She becomes slightly more annoyed and asks what he's doing, and at that moment, Breanna is violently pulled underneath the water. She swims back up and screams for Zach while swimming away. Breanna attempts to swim all the way to land, but as she approaches the end of the water, the Moonlight Man pulls her underneath and slashes Breanna across the neck and chest with his clawed fingers. Breanna kicks at the monster, and manages to pull herself out of the water. She crawls on the ground while covered in blood, and tries to call out for help. The Moonlight Man rises from the water and stands above a helpless Breanna. Breanna begs for mercy as she lays on the ground, and the Moonlight Man stabs her in the stomach with his clawed fingers.
Katerina - After getting out of the bathroom, Katerina walks into the living room and discovers Breanna's lifeless corpse lying on the floor. Katerina screams at the top of her lungs and runs to find everyone else. While she's running in a frenzy, Jessica appears standing in the hallway. Katerina calls out to her in confusion, and Jessica runs toward Katerina, causing her to run the opposite way. Katerina runs outside the cabin and Jessica chases after her with an axe. After ending up in the woods, Katerina hides behind a tree and keeps quiet. Jessica slowly walks into the woods wielding her axe, and Katerina sobs silently to herself while holding her mouth. Jessica can't find Kat, and then seemingly walks out of the woods. Katerina feels some relief and sighs as she stands against the tree, but Jessica sneaks up on her and stabs Katerina in the head with the axe. Katerina falls onto the ground head first while blood pours unremittingly out of her head and mouth.
Robbie - While Robbie is driving Jessica, Cort, Connor and Lindsay to a hospital, Lindsay points out that the Moonlight Man is standing in the woods under the moonlight. Robbie quickly stops the car, and Cort screams at him to keep driving. Lindsay begins panicking and screams at Robbie to turn around and drive in a different direction. Robbie determinedly steps on the gas pedal and speeds up the car, driving forward toward the Moonlight Man in an attempt to run him over. While he's speeding toward the monster, Jessica and Lindsay scream for him to stop, but Robbie ignores them and keeps driving. The Moonlight Man suddenly disappears and Robbie drives straight into a tree, and he smashes his face against the dashboard before dying of blunt force trauma.
Tom Wallace - While Officer Wallace is walking around the cabin to find Jessica, he pulls his gun out and holds it up for safety. He comes across Robbie's dead body and realizes that Jessica is severely deranged. Officer Wallace slowly walks around the cabin and calls out for Jessica calmly, telling her to show herself. While Lindsay is waiting upstairs, she screams for Wallace to turn around, and he sees Jessica standing in front of him wielding an axe. Wallace demands that Jessica lower her weapon, and he draws his gun on her threatening to shoot. Jessica walks over to Wallace while smiling sadistically, and he shoots her in the chest, but she doesn't fall down. Wallace looks in shock before shooting her again in the stomach, but Jessica is unaffected by the bullets. Jessica then runs up to him as she's screaming monstrously, and she decapitates Wallace with the axe.
Johnny Benson/Moonlight Man - Once Jessica, Connor, Cort and Lindsay walk outside ready to leave Wayside Mountain, the Moonlight Man appears standing under the moonlight, in the same spot he died in as a child. Connor panics and Jessica tells Lindsay to take him inside, and she obliges. After Lindsay and Connor run back into the cabin, Cort tells Jessica to get behind him, and he challenges the Moonlight Man to come get him. The Moonlight Man starts walking slowly over to the duo, and Jessica tearfully begs Cort to get away from him. Cort pulls out a steak knife that he took from the kitchen and stabs the monster in his shoulder, and the Moonlight Man slashes Cort across the face with his clawed fingers. Cort falls on the ground, and Jessica jumps on the Moonlight Man's shoulders to throw him off balance. The Moonlight Man then throws Jessica off of him, and Cort regains consciousness. Cort then stabs the monster again in his back two times with the knife, and the monster turns around and stabs Cort in the shoulder with his clawed fingers. The Moonlight Man then tosses Cort against the cabin wall. Jessica then orders the Moonlight Man to turn around, and she begins talking to him like she's his father. The Moonlight Man is now distracted as Jessica begins mocking him as if she were his father, and she tells him he's a pathetic waste who couldn't even possess a young woman properly. The Moonlight Man stands in shock and torment as he's berated by Jessica, and while he's distracted, Cort slowly picks himself up off the ground and pulls the monster's hood down, revealing his burned and mutilated face. As the Moonlight Man shrieks in devilish anger, Lindsay steps outside and sprays the monster with a gasoline hose, then Connor lights a match and sets the Moonlight Man on fire. The Moonlight Man becomes covered in fire from head to toe, and he shrieks louder as his entire body is engulfed in flames. The Moonlight Man disintegrates into ashes and only his jacket, robe and pins and needles are left lying on the ground.