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Dead List (2018) - Movie Review

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Dead List (2018) - Movie Poster

2 stars"This book is your salvation, dude."

With those uttered words, one supernatural book – with names of all the competing actors in a new Martin Scorsese film – completes one struggling actor’s destiny. He will do anything to land the part in it. Dead List, a sort of a horror anthology release from High Octane pictures, is made mute by poor choices in edits and limp acting.  It is one of those films that, with a better combination of talents involved, might have made a name for itself.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really do much of either, wasting its running time as it flops from horror to comedy and back again without understanding its one objective: to entertain as young male actors in Los Angeles experience their own Creepshow.

 Writing as a horror and B-movie enthusiasts, I have to admit being letdown by a lot in this movie.  Leaving the whole curse of the book unexplained until a half-assed attempt later keeps the audience from understanding just what the hell is going on.   And that makes the 80-minutes that is this film's running time feel way too long.

"It is neither frightening enough nor funny enough to maintain anyone’s interest for very long."


Sure, you can follow that Cal (Deane Sulliavan), an actor who lives an incredibly sealed-off life, would put a hex upon all his completion, but the reasons for the book’s sudden appearance just falls flat.  Later in the movie, we see it practically gallop with the pages of its binding and whine its way onto the windshield of his car.  But why?  Is this supposed to be funny? 

So a name gets entered and, rather predictably, a character dies in a twisting sort of way. Most of these are unoriginal deaths, although it is interesting to note that, in one story, a selfish white dude turns black and is gunned down by the police, our wishlist is left unfulfilled by the attempts at horror. Most of this just feels too easy.

Directors/Co-writers Ivan Asen, Victor Mathieu and Holden Andrews have a decent idea at the center of the narrative. The whole thought process of stabbing your friends in the back works, but the inclusion of a book – one that apparently has a free-spirited mind of its own à la Evil Dead – without a steady reason makes this feature look suspect to everything under the sun.

Co-starring Matt Fowler as Zander, Nick Bandera as Scott, Eric Pierce as Jason, and his player buddy, Holden Andrews as Karl, and Rob Healy as Kush, Dead List runs out of gas a time or two before it runs out of gas. Most of the scenes and especially the kill scenes are way too long and unforgivingly dull; it’s as if this group of filmmakers are in too much love with their own work and forgot to consider the audience’s interest.

Is there an original thought here? Maybe. Sometimes the movie has hunger pangs that feel fresh – as is the case with the sudden inclusion of actresses Lindsey Grubbs and Alexandra Corin Johnson playing the part of potheads on the beach – but this effort, looking pretty slick for an independent feature, just goes nowhere fast. It is neither frightening enough nor funny enough to maintain anyone’s interest for very long.

Even with its short running time, the sausage party that is Dead List is in need of some serious trimming.

Dead List (2018) - Movie Poster

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
80 mins
Director
: Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen
Writer:
Holden Andrews
Cast:
Matt Fowler, Victor Mathieu, Erin Darling
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
Pray you're not on it.
Memorable Movie Quote: "It literally landed on my car, like from the sky."
Distributor:
High Octane Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 1, 2018 (VOD)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A struggling actor conjures a dark force in order to win a movie role in a terrifying new movie experience from filmmakers Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen and Victor Mathieu.

No details available.

Dead List (2018) - Movie Poster

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