365horror

Dread

by on Apr.05, 2010, under Daily Review

Is it Dread that I should have been feeling prior to watching this film? Was it a warning of what I was about to view? The film isn’t that bad, I must say, the idea of advising anyone else watch the film doesn’t fill me with too much dread, although maybe just a little.

So what’s the problem here? Tony DiBlasi continues with his obsession of Clive Barker shorts to the big screen (or maybe small screen). From my experience of Barker on film, it’s never a great idea. His literature just fails to work in a way which pays justice to his fine words, although, given a talented director and a huge budget, it might just work. Here, we have neither. DiBlasi isn’t a bad film maker; he can shoot a scene as good as the next man, with great lighting and atmosphere,  some very nice framed moments can be seen, yet there is something lacking. I’d question DiBlasi’s experience with directing a cast of young and talented actors, letting them perform a role of obvious charactertures. It’s this obviousness, which bored me stupid. I had no engagement with the key roles.

The story would work well as a short. Three students interview and study their peers in order to find out what truly scares them, delving deep into their darkest secrets. But the three are broken cases, lead astray by Quaid (Shaun Evans) whose parents were hacked to death by a mad axe man as he watched on from the stairway as a child.  His eventual goal is to confront his own fear, a dream to conquer and destroy the man who haunts his dreams and ruined his life.

Yes, it sounds quite good, as you’d expect from the mind of Clive Barker. DiBlasi takes this and turns the character of Quaid into a depraved self obsessed freak and considering there’s a whole campus, surely there could have been something else to take his mind off his past. Jackson Rathbone plays his partner in crime. Both actors are great on screen, as are the rest of the cast. There are also some really stunning moments. A POV of the axe swinging into Quaid’s mother’s head is impressive. Another scene has Quaid imagine a stripper cut to pieces in front of his very eyes, and probably the most disturbing scene has Quaid lock up vegetarian Cheryl (Hanne Steen) for days, left with a large slice of meat. It’s only when the steak starts to rot, Cheryl takes a bite.

Some interesting moments and a good basic plot, but this is let down by the obvious characters. A shame really.

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