Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Deadgirl: Stand by Her

Today I will begin going through some recent films that have kept me up.  I qualify some films as "films to fall asleep to."  This does not mean they are boring in any way.  Simply, these are the films I've seen a number of times, maybe even watched the directors commentary a few times.  In this sense, even a great film, like Nightmare On Elm Street 4 would be considered a "film to fall asleep to."  Like a great bedtime story.

Other films, mostly for me- new films, are films that "keep me up."  Sometimes because they are scary, sometimes they are just interesting.  Sometimes they are just...car wreckage.  One example of this kind of  artful horror car wreck is Marcel Sarmiento's (2008) Deadgirl.

Now I am not normally one for torture horror.  Violence for violence sake is not cool.  Deadgirl is not that kind of film anyway.  It is a shocker. There is a deadgirl (duh) buts she's more of a zombie.  Take a couple bored slacker teenagers and you can imagine what ensues.  But really the story takes off on one of the boys grapple with his true love and the dark paths his friends are taking.  Shiloh Fernandez and Noah Segan play the boys.  Noah is the sick one who makes it a circus sideshow to come and fool around with the girl.  Shiloh is conflicted.  He turns in a great performance as Rickie.  He is the main showcase of conflict in the story as he struggles to overcome some of the darkness in his life.  A girl that does not like him back, a drunk stepfather, and a friend who is busy screwing a deadgirl.

Here we have a film that people will A: get freaked out by due to the content.  B: get over that and focus on the story of Rickie.

When you focus on the story of Rickie you have yourself a unique independent horror film.  The kind of which they should make more of these days.  Not a remake, but an original take on the "Friends in transition" theme.  So ultimately, I did enjoy Deadgirl, be it for reason B.  The car wreck nature of the film might serve to bring some viewers into the fold or may turn some away.  Either way, we cannot deny good fresh storytelling and independent horror.  Next up...a review of the complete first season of the short lived (thankfully) Mick Garris project "Fear Itself."

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