måndag 24 september 2018

Dead Night

They say that men and women are from 2 different planets. This is probably true, because after being in a relationship with my wife for almost 15 years, i can tell that i still don´t pick up all the signals that my wife give me. Why ? I guess men in general will never really understand women. But i can tell you this, if you ask any man, who would you want to marry if you are single, every single one would answer Barbara Crampton. You might think that most men would say Rihanna or Beyonce would be our first choice. Not at all, the only woman that men dream about everyday, is without a doubt Barbara Crampton. And i think i know why, because she really look fantastic, and she seems to be a wonderful person. I have seen a lot of films in her long career, and one of my absolute favourite films is of course Re-Animator. A film that may be 33 years old, but is a cult classic for horror fans worldwide. Re-Animator had a very different look than most horror releases back in the 80´s, and maybe that is one of the reasons why the film still works today. Barbara Crampton is one of those actors who have continued working in the horror movie genre, and delivered many lovely performances. In recent years there are especially two films that comes to my mind. First up is the horror film We A Still Here, directed by Ted Geoghegan. A great looking B horror movie, where a house in the countryside have a evil entity within the rooms. We Are Still Here brought back some classic elements from the horror movies of the 70´s, and also managed to deliver very creepy looking demonic figures. The second film that comes to my mind, is a film i really feel worked so well especially thanks to Barbara, a film known as Beyond The Gates. Directed by Jackson Stewart, this is a well made horror film, based on a board game, that actually becomes real if you play the game. The design of the game is also well made, and includes a VHS tape, a classic combination. I suggest you watch both films on VOD, or DVD, they are both worth checking out. Recently i was reading about horror films online, and noticed that a film have been released with Barbara Crampton, that i have not seen. A film simply called Dead Night ( sounds like the perfect Sunday dinner at the Bingo Hall ) I thought to myself, i have to see it. Being an old school horror fan, it seemed like Dead Night could be something in my taste. Is this film a good throwback to the old school horror genre, or is Dead Night a failure on every possible level ?

James Pollack ( AJ Bowen ) and his wife Casey Pollack ( Brea Grant ) head out to remoted cabin in Oregon for a weekend with their teenage kids Jessica Pollack ( Sophie Dalah ) and Jason Pollack ( Joshua Hoffman ). Outside in the snow, they find a woman lying. They use CPR to bring her back to life, and she wakes up. Her name is Leslie Bison ( Barbara Crampton ) and she does not seem to know what happened. But as the night goes on, something strange is about to be revealed about Leslie, and the real reason why she is close to this cabin.

The first thing that strikes me about Dead Night, is how this film is constructed. The story is divided into 2 sections, where you get to see a female society who look for new victims, and you also get to see the murders through a crime TV show, is a clever idea. Instead of just doing the same kind of slasher theme, why not mix it up a bit ? The cabin story is nothing special, so the film do get better along the way, when we find out what is going on. When the cabin visitors turn into some kind of possessed killers, this is where the film becomes more fun. We get flesh wounds, even a decapitated arm, just the way we like it. The characters are not all bad either, but let me tall you straight up, Barbara Crampton as the evil Leslie is the strongest character of this film. Every scene she is in, give this film a quality level that i appreciate. But that´s not all, actor Brea Grant as the strong female character Casey Pollack is also a good reason why this film becomes more interesting. Legendary actor Gwen Van Dam ( known for her performances in films like True Confessions and Star Trek Generations ) is wonderful to see as one of the evil  Crone´s. I wish she could have had more screen time, since she is a perfect choice for her character. The practical effects looks ok for the most part, especially a transformation scene in the end of the film, this is really where we get to see a golden moment of tasteful horror. So is there anything negative ? A few scenes did not feel necessary, especially a scene where an older couple is supposed to look shocked, after Casey hit a head off with an axe, and the old couple play so bad it is embarrassing. The face make up is not as good looking as i would hope for, especially on the character James Pollack as possessed, played by actor AJ Bowen. His performance is alright, but the face make up could have been improved. Apart from this, Dead Night is a nice throwback to the happy 80´s with dead bodies, flesh wounds, and different ways to kill possessed people. I also love the movie poster, also feels like a throwback to VHS covers of the glorious days of rental stores as a teenager. Director Brad Baruh ( who produced the great film John Dies At The End ) have made a directorial debut film that may not give anything new, but gives you a good B movie moment. If you just want to see a horror film that reminds you of the good old days of B horror movies, give Dead Night a chance. You might actually find yourself having a good time.

Rating: DDD

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