Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Halloween Movie Month: Dead Within

Dead Within (2014)
not rated
Netflix instant

Dead Within is about a young couple that is living in an isolated cabin after an outbreak (similar to the rage outbreak in 28 Days Later, but a bit more zombie).  There are flashback scenes of the couple prior to the outbreak, but the majority of the movie is focused on the slow descent into madness and paranoia as a result of extreme isolation and fear.

My biggest complaint with Dead Within is that I did not care about the characters.  In order to really care about what happens to the characters, you need to see more of the actual descent into madness.  However, this movie starts out already showing the two main characters as being desperate and crazy.  How do we know that they weren't terrible people to begin with?  How do we know that we should empathize/sympathize with their suffering?  There just wasn't anything that gave me any reason to care about what actually happened to them.  More than an hour into the movie (and it is only 91 minutes long), I still did not care at all about what happened.  The closest that the movie came to actually showing anything to make me care about the characters wasn't until the credits.  At that point, there was no reason to start caring about them.

There was one scene that was pretty creepy, but it was definitely just a startle.  The movie lacked the "horror" aspects of deeper scares that stay with you long after the movie ends.  Also, all of the "scary" scenes lacked originality.  They were the same tired scenes that you see in practically every horror movie.  The lack of originality extended until the very end of the movie.  The end of the movie was treated as a major reveal...except that there was nothing surprising or revealing about it.  The title of the movie (Dead Within), as well as the cover, give away the ending of the movie almost instantly.

Rating and Recommendation:  1.5/5.  This one is definitely a pass.  With such a small cast, this movie actually did have some good potential to draw you into an intimate setting where you care so deeply about the characters that anything that happens to them feels like it is happening to you.  If they had just shown some humanity at the beginning, then you would have been able to see the humanity get stripped away by their isolation and suffering.  They tried to show some of their humanity through flashbacks, but it was not enough to keep me caring about them through the movie.

Be sure to check back soon for more reviews in Halloween Movie Month!  In the meantime, leave comments on this (or any other) review, follow me here and on twitter (@GargyleReviews), and let me know what movies you'd like for me to review for Halloween Movie Month!

- The Gargyle

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