It’s a shame that the adult mystery-thriller genre has largely gone out of fashion in Hollywood, as it’s been the source of some of the best dramas the town has had to offer over the decades. Thankfully, the independent world is there to pick up the slack. With Midnighters, the new film about a plan to cover up a dead body that slowly spins out of control, it looks like there might be a new addition to the realm of juicy pulp puzzlers. Directed by Julius Ramsay, a longtime editor in television who recently moved into directing with episodes of The Walking Dead, Outcast, and Scream, the movie follows a couple on their way home from celebrating New Year’s Eve who accidentally hit and kill a man, and decide to hide the body—only to discover he had their address in his pocket.

The cast looks excellent, frontlined as it is by Alex Essoe, so superb in the recent indie horror Starry Eyes, and Dylan McTee of the gone-too-soon Sweet/Vicious. But the most interesting tidbit comes if you look up the film’s screenwriter, Alston Ramsay. Let’s just quote IMDB directly: “Alston served as deputy chief speechwriter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, strategic advisor and senior speechwriter to General David Petraeus in Afghanistan, and senior speechwriter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.” So, yeah, this movie was written by Robert Gates’ speechwriter. That’s insane, but it also leads us to suspect this is a family affair, given the director’s last name and the fact that a third Ramsay, Burke, is a producer. There’s no release date yet, as the film is just now making its way to a premiere at the LA Film Festival on Monday, June 19th, but with a little luck, we’ll soon find out just what that creepy guy who says he’s a cop in the above trailer is really doing there.