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Dead By Dawn - Movie Review

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Dead By Dawn

How far would you go to survive a night of being hunted?  Dead by Dawn, written by Wes Laurie, has an answer. While it sounds like a zombie flick, know this, Dead by Dawn is far more deranged than any zombie film could ever be.  Why? Because in this movie, we are dealing with the living and they, 9 out of 10 times, are far more disturbing than brain-munching zombies.

"Uniquely flipping the thriller on its head, Dead By Dawn operates much like a home invasion movie"


A down-on-his-luck man, Dylan (Kelcey Watson), living alone in an upscale “cabin” in the woods, is this close to killing himself.  Once upon a time ago, he had a family. His daughter was obsessed with zombies, but times have changed. There is now just a box of her things and her plans to survive the zombie apocalypse left in the house.  

Now, he is sitting alone with a gun in his mouth.  

That’s how director Sean Cain’s Dead By Dawn begins. It’s pretty dark, right? Wait.We are going totally lights out soon enough.  After an unsettling opening between a man dressed as a clown who drives Lulu (Drew Lindsey Mitchell) to a party while masturbating, we fast forward to the screams that stop Dylan from pulling the trigger.

Lulu is outside his door.  She’s practically comatose.  She’s been through hell and back - raped, beaten, and tortured - and now she’s right outside Dylan’s door.  And he must make a choice as she eventually tells him her tragic story.

Running from the people who did it to her, Lulu has nowhere else to turn.  These assholes mean business. One is the dude dressed as the clown (Bo Burroughs).  Another is his ride or die chick named Snack (Jamie Bernadette from I Spit On Your Grave: Déjà vu), who like to dance with knives in the woods.  And the third person is her Uncle Chad (Timothy Muskatell), who has been planning this attack or, as the term is used in the movie, “grooming” her for this event for a long, long time.  Disturbing, isn’t it? {googleads}

Her uncle has been lusting after her since forever, it seems.  Yes, he is that disgusting. But, with Neil and Snack by his side, his psychotic tendencies, previously restrained, are on full display.  This trio of scumbags will definitely creep you out and now they are all on the hunt for Lulu. When their plan for her capture backfires, they throw caution to the wind and come at the house by any means necessary.    

Ultimately, this means that Dylan, the dude who began the movie with a gun in his mouth, stands in their way.  Dylan and Lulu, easily drawing comparisons to Duane Jones and Judith O'Dea from Night of the Living Dead, form a team that is rather easy to cheer for and, in the way, Dead by Dawn delivers.

Because the two victims have a choice to make.  Do they push back? Or just give in? Using his daughter’s plans to survive the zombie apocalypse, Dylan turns the pistol away from himself and aims it squarely at the three sadists who dare come to his house looking for their lost prey.Dead By Dawn

Uniquely flipping the thriller on its head, Dead By Dawn operates much like a home invasion movie, except in this tale, two people try to keep the killers from breaking in and doing more harm to their victim.  This thriller is violent, over-the-top in its performances, and as grisly as independent features get as booby traps are set-up, tripped, and things spiral quickly out of control.

Co-starring Bobby Slaski, Detra Hicks, and Skylar Dominique, Dead by Dawn will be available on DVD and Digital April 7, 2020 from Uncork’d Entertainment

Open the door, settle in, and find out who will be Dead by Dawn this April!

4/5 stars

Dead By Dawn


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Dead by Dawn

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
85 mins
: Sean Cain
Sean Cain, Wes Laurie
Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Jamie Bernadette
: Horror
Only the strongest will survive the night.
Memorable Movie Quote: "I;m going to do what I can to get you back to your family."
Uncork'd Entertainment
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 2020
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available
Synopsis: A suicidal man in a remote cabin is suddenly faced with protecting a kidnapped woman from three killers and their sadistic games. Unable to contact the outside world and with night falling, he falls backs on creating traps to prevent the criminals from gaining entry.


Dead by Dawn

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