Saturday, 4 August 2018

Shudder Saturday: Dead Body (2017)

Dead Body is a sharp and smart horror comedy, a slasher film that takes familiar tropes and subverts expectations as the bodies start to pile up and we head to a fun-filled and surprising finale. Well, that's obviously what was intended anyway. But that's not what the final product is.

Jay Myers is Dominic, a young man who invites some friends to a cabin in the woods for some catching up before they all head off into their adult lives. Dominic actually just wanted to invite a select few people but those people end up bringing a few more people, which frustrates him to no end. They eventually decide to play a game of Dead Body, which involves one player being a murderer and other players portraying victims, but it turns out that someone wants to make the game much more realistic. Who is it, and why?

Directed by first-timer Bobbin Ramsey, Dead Body isn't half as bad as it could have been, thanks to some care being taken with the technical side of things, and some fun gore effects. It's just nowhere near as good as it could have been either. I feel like I say that a lot with horror movies that haven't been released from big studios, and maybe I do, but it's always a shame to see potential squandered by people who could have come together and sent out a calling card that would lead to more opportunities for everyone involved.

The cast all do okay. Myers is fun as the uptight host, Rachel Brun is the friend he seems to like the most, and Cooper Hopkins is fine as the older boyfriend of Rachel's character. You also get Spencer Hamp and Nic Morden making a good impression as two unlikely friends, with the latter being very much the "outcast" of the usual school cliques, and everyone else does what they need to do.

Writers Ian Bell and Ramon Isao seem to have thought that most of their work was done in creating the initial premise and having one or two fun exchanges. That's all well and good, although the film quickly becomes a bit dull when the murders start to occur (which really isn't the way these films should pan out), but when you get to the grand finale, and the motivation for the murders, it makes you realise that there was a lot more comedy to be mined here.

I am not deliberately underselling the film to people who may want to still give it their time but I'm also not covering all of the few highlights (because I don't want to spoil things for those who may enjoy it more). Suffice it to say that some of the dialogue works well when characters are starting to get more paranoid and more desperate.

Some of the hardest reviews to write are the ones that involve films that inspire neither great hate nor great love. They're just there. Kind of okay, maybe viewed slightly better or worse at times, depending on your frame of mind when you see them. Dead Body is one of those movies. It's just . . . . . . . there.


As it only seems to be streaming for now, I recommend picking up this bargain instead.
Americans may want to splash out on this set.

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