Dead List: Creative Premise, Promising Story, Execution Falls Short
Writer(s): Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, Victor Mathieu
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Release Format: VOD
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Running Time: 1 hr 20 min
Social Networking: None Stated
Calvin is competing with five other actors for a major movie role. Stopping at nothing to win the role of a lifetime, he uses a demonic book to curse his fellow actors, with each actor being killed off in their own separate unique and terrifying chapter.
Dead List Overview
Dead List will release on Video on Demand on May 1, 2018, DVD on July 3, 2018, and Streaming and VOD on September 4, 2018, by High Octane Pictures. The Comedy, Horror is written, directed, and produced by Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, and Victor Mathieu.
Alixzandra Dove…..Casting Director
A group of inspiring actors is auditioning for a major movie role. One-by-one, members of the group soon start experiencing horrible deaths, and it all ties into a dark book that randomly lands in Calvin’s hands. Not suspecting anything, Calvin sees it as a tool to help him crush his competition and advance in landing the role. Little does he know the damage it is causing until it’s too late.
Dead List reminds me of a mash-up of The Evil Dead (Sam Raimi) and Death Note (Shûsuke Kaneko). The story is intriguing and has more potential than what it dishes out. A mysterious book adds names of people who will become its victims, similar to the premise of Kaneko’s film I mentioned above. The difference in Andrews’, Asen’, and Mathieu’s film being more of a premise pushing towards Raimi’s film, where the victims suffer unexplainable deaths comprising supernatural creatures and forces that the book creates itself.
This book finds Calvin, and he neglects to ponder the reason or being. Yet, he finds an appeal to the book. When he shows it to his friend, Kush, he forewarns Calvin of the book. However, he hesitates by the mysteriousness of the book, and the two advance to read from it, with no knowledge they have released the horrors that have already been taking place. They have also, with no intention, added themselves to the imprint of the book by doing so.
This premise is an interesting twist and convergence that could use more directional guidance to make it more of a success. The practical effects of the creatures are noteworthy. Merging entities of different sorts. Evil spirits remain a popular theme in Horror cinema that clicks with the audience. Regardless of how frequent this theme is. There is the controversy over whether spirits, both good and evil, exist in real life, and real people can attest to this personal experience. Seeing this ideal brought to light on the big screen hits home, on a psychological and emotional level to many people who are believers.
Then, there is the merging of the evil spirit in a host. This idea is also not new, but creative enough to raise curiosity. Clowns in Horror cinema remain a psychological fright, and will still, remain the desired attraction among audiences. Many people experience Coulrophobia in real life. To see this brought out on the big screen awakens paranoias in those people that can cause a psychological terror, all the while intriguing them. When all said and done, fans of Horror cinema entertainment attracts to the adrenaline of the scare.
The special effects are one area that falls short in its deliverance. With mental logic, the audience will understand the concept and the efforts. By the same token, the visual effects are not effective enough to generate much of a response. The cast performances coincide here, making the cinematic experience fall by the wayside.
Dead List brings out the Supernatural and the evil spirit in a creative light. Not that this has not already frequented Horror cinema, but it is also enough to stand amongst the competition in like-minded films. There are moments in the film of intrigue. Then there are moments that can deliver different executions. Andrews, Asen, and Mathieu work with diligence as a team to produce a creative premise that’s equipped with a promising story. The finished product has great potential but falls short.