13th Feb2015

‘Dead Still’ VOD Review

by Richard Axtell

Stars: Ben Browder, Ray Wise, Gavin Casalegno, Steffie Grote, Elle LaMont, Han Soto, Carrie Lazar, Lawrence Turner, Aspen Steib, Luke J. Watson, Corey Mendell Parker, Toby Nichols, Evelyn Boyle | Written by Philip Adrian Booth | Directed by The Booth Brothers

Dead-Still

Upon the death of his great grandfather, Brandon Davis (Ben Browder), a wedding photographer inherits an antique camera famous for taking Victorian death photography. After photographing his subjects they start to die from horrible, bizarre deaths, then reappearing as eerie death portraits. One by one, Brandon begins to lose people very close to him as he struggles to uncover the haunting mystery behind the cursed camera. When his eleven year old son goes missing, Brandon discovers the camera has supernatural powers and has trapped his son inside of it. He must now risk all and journey beyond the realm of all imagination, to fight the hideous entities within, save his son and reverse the deadly curse that plagues them before they all become… Dead Still.

If Dead Still were a fairground ride it would be the super cheesy haunted house with flashing lights and screaming plastic skeletons. At points during this film it does feel a little like the writers stuck their hands into a big bucket filled with gooey clichés and slapped them all over the script. I mean, ‘camera o’ death’ isn’t the most original idea in the world, but on top of that we have crazy professor obsessed with the camera, the young and sexy assistant who is marked for death, the ‘foreign chick’ who is a witch because she is so mysterious and foreign… I could go on. I could even mention the haunted iPad of death, but I won’t (spooky). Also, many of the characters seem to want to remind you of the title by fitting Dead Still as dramatically as possible into sentences where it really wasn’t needed. But it’s DEAD STILL guys! It’s the title of the film! Get it? Huh, huh? Get it?

From that little rant, you may have guessed that this isn’t my favourite film in the world. Even with the mighty Ben Browder, also known for his leading roles in Farscape and Stargate, I still couldn’t bring myself to maintain a serious face whilst watching it. It felt a lot more like a pantomime than a horror film, and maybe if they had thrown in a few comedic moments – something that is well within Browder’s skill set – it might have worked. Instead I found myself either rolling my eyes at jump scares, or annoyed by Dead Still‘s attempts to freak me out by amping up the gore during the over-acted death scenes.

Guess what guys? I didn’t like the film. Filled to the brim with cliché and over-acting, I would save this film for when your friends have outstayed their welcome and you want them to leave. Takes itself too seriously to be ‘so bad it’s good’ and is too ridiculous to be scary at all. Awesome.

Dead Still is out now on VOD.

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