As soon as it starts, Minutes to Midnight sets the scene: a couple are taking a stroll in the middle of a forest, stopping to picnic on a small clearing.
The woman mentions how this is the place where some boys were murdered, to which her boyfriend replies that there is nothing to worry about and that they’re “all alone”.
Then a sudden noise, a quick “I’ll be right back”, and both characters get kidnapped by a killer in a terrifying mask.
That introduction scene is so filled with horror movie tropes that you would expect the rest of the movie to actually subverts them; that this would be a joke, a parody, to make you go “I forgot how ridiculous horror movies used to be” and then move on to something new.
But the “gotcha!” moment never comes and you soon realize Minutes to Midnight actually recreates in all seriousness all the most typical slasher movie tropes (which, paradoxically, could be seen as subversive now with the popularity of half-comedy half-slasher movies that poke fun at the genre).
Everything is therefore pretty much as you would expect it: a group of young adults (some couples, some exes, some who are flirting) decide to celebrate the New Year in a lodge in the middle of the woods.
Bad weather traps them in, and three killers (siblings who work together) kill them one by one while being tracked by the local sheriff. Lots of blood and naked women, flashing lights and misty woods.