01st Aug2018

Pass Horror Notes: ‘Dead List’ Review

by Aaron Shakespeare



Stars: Holden Andrews, Nick Bandera, Lauren Compise, Erin Darling, Alixzandra Dove, Josh Eichenbaum, Matt Fowler, Lindsey Grubbs, Rob Healy, Alexandra Corin Johnston, Eric Pierce, Alexandra Costa, Brad Gage | Written and Directed by Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, Victor Mathieu

Age: Released in 2018
Appearance: Straight to VOD anthology horror film. Occasionally wonky, sometimes amateurish but never ever boring. Some decent gore and a few laughs along the way.

Death Note. I mean Dead List!

Death Note. I mean Dead List!

Cool! I love horror anthologies! Creep Show, Asylum, Cat’s Eye…

It doesn’t quite reach those dizzying heights.

Ah, more like Tales from the Crapper than Tales from the Crypt then?

I wouldn’t say that either. It does have low production values and sometimes feels like a home movie, which might put some people off but if you stick with it, you will find a fun ride that is both creative and charming.

So, what’s it about?

Well, essentially, it’s about a struggling actor named Cal who eliminates the competition by writing their names in a cursed book…

Like Death Note?

Yes, but the twist is that we then follow the fates of those whose names are written in the book, providing the plot for each segment. And it’s from here that things get interesting…

I like interesting.

The central conceit of scribbling a person’s name in a book and something bad happening gives the writing a lot of freedom. This means we get different sub-genres of horror. But it also means the film lurches in tone. For example, one tale deals with the subject of race relations where an actor is turned into a black man. We then get a story about a man who gets trapped in an Escher style reality and ends up drilling himself in the back of the head!

That escalated quickly…

The film does feel a little uneven at times but then which anthologies don’t? My favourite segment is the body horror segment where a guy liquifies after getting bitten by a sea monster.

That escalated quick…

…ly. Yes, yes you said that already. You do get some moments of so-bad-it’s-good hilarity such as the story with the witch. Her performance is all cackles and arms flailing, like a drunken aunt at a children’s party.

Sounds like a few beers might be in order…

It’s definitely a beer-worthy film that should be watched with your mates. It would certainly help make sense of the more insane moments in the film such as when we see proceedings from the point of view of the cursed book, which flaps like a bird and snorts like a hungry pig.

Two pints please, barman!

Or how about when Jeff is chased by a string of coloured hankies that hisses at him like a snake. Or when the book is first discovered by Cal, and his flatmate Trevor *just happens* to be an expert in the occult. Oh, and as for the dialogue, I would warn against any drinking game that involves counting how many times someone cries “What da fuck!” Otherwise, you’ll be on the floor in the first half hour.

Do say: “Hollywood is a buffet line and everybody’s gunning for crab legs”.

Don’t say: This sounds awfully similar to a certain Japanese manga…


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