Monday, September 1, 2014

My Review Of “Dead Girls”

dead-girls_large_800“Dead Girls” is a horror anthology that takes “sisterhood of power” into dark places, with some truly deadly results. The anthology is directed by Neal Fischer, Del Harvey and starring Jessica Galang, Joseph Luis Caballero, Rebecca Mullins, Aubrey Joyce Tunnell, Nick Cardiff, Matty Robinson, Ali Hadley, Mia Doran, Brian Rooney, Kelsey Sante and Lynn Lowry as the narrator. “Dead Girls” is three tales of revenge from beyond the grave with an empowering wraparound that gets a little help from the “evil side” (sides are relative).

The wraparound story focuses on a young run away fleeing a potential victimizer. Seeking refuge in an old farm house she encounters an unusually gifted young woman. It is a very interesting story that takes place in segments throughout the film, much like classic 80’s horror anthologies often did. The only real linking mechanism is a mysteries journal that chronicles some crimes against women that are met with vengeance. What I liked about this wraparound is the visual representation symbolically announcing the body count of young girls victimized, killed or left for dead. Some true social commentary that is very prevalent in today’s reality.

“Over My Dead Body” is a slice of domestic violence. The story doesn’t start off as seeming too creative. Girl killed by “ex” boyfriend is a cliché used a lot in revenge themed horror. However once the story gets going, and the real horror begins things get original. There is elements of the occult, mostly dark magicks, that aid in allowing this “dead girl” to get her vengeance on. It has moments of weakness, but there are some real cool moments in this short story also. (F.Y.I. –that is noticeable in all three of the short stories).

"Theta Phi's Never Die" is an insanely clichéd horror concept that starts off clunky, and fumbles a lot of the moments meant to draw out the black satirical writing. The characters aren’t two dimensional, and the acting is barely above amateurish-with the exception of “little miss revenge girl”. This story also has the dark arts aiding in helping this victim seek revenge on her victimizers-this time girls as opposed to the male assailant that the other stories use as antagonist. The story does pick up and have some cool, entertaining action and kills equal to slasher horror stuff.

“Vengeance Is Mine” is a really odd, out-of-step, tale that- at first- seems to not make sense. That is simply because in a short film it is hard to set up a story with the style of storytelling used here in such a short amount of time. Overall though the director does a decent job because once the sinister nature becomes clear, the beginning falls in line with what is happening. This one brings back the male creep as the antagonist exploiting young girls. It also deals with street justice, prostitution and religious hypocrisy. Once more the dark arts comes to the rescue allowing this young woman to get revenge. (F.Y.I again-that too is a common theme in all the stories here.

Overall “Dead Girls” flutters a bit when it comes to originality and depth-there is not a lot of subtext or strong wit built into the tales. The acting is mediocre, a lot of the concepts have been done better in other films and originality falters in this anthology. That being said, the storyline that pertains to the lead characters getting revenge does have a bit of creativity, there are some truly entertaining moments in all the stories, and the wraparound is an odd, “girl power” anthem from the dark side. Plus I have never seen a film that puts evil as the great redeemer and places those things in society “deemed fit” as the real evil. I liked that aspect. Some will enjoy “Dead Girls” and some won’t like it. I am almost split, leaning more toward liking more moments than I hated.

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