Year Released: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 101 minutes
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Two friends, J.T. and Rickie, sneak into an abandoned mental hospital after school for a little trespassing, beer drinking and mayhem, only to find a naked girl gagged and chained down in the basement. At first they think she’s dead, but no… she’s moving.
J.T. whose psychotic side is awakened by the gruesome find wants to keep the “Deadgirl” like some sort of pet, while Rickie wants to let her go, Yet, the latter’s weak protests are far too little to sway the mentally deteriorating J.T.
What happens next, I leave up to you to find out. Let’s just say that it isn’t pretty. Teen sexual frustration and a chained up girl, alive or dead, do not mix.
Apparently this movie’s script has been bouncing around for a decade because the premise is so controversial. I guess some sensitive (Read: Sissy) people with weak dispositions could maybe be offended, but I didn’t bat an eye. Then again, I wasn’t impressed by “Guinea Pig 2: Flowers of Flesh and Blood” either, a movie that everyone thought was a real snuff film back in the day. Skinny Puppy wrote a song about it and Charlie Sheen called the FBI after seeing it. I guess some people are easily shocked by this sort of thing.
Anyway, beyond the supposed controversial content, “Deadgirl” will sometimes remind you of the best of Cronenberg. It is well acted, cleverly written, stylishly directed and morbidly fascinating. Not only that, but it isn’t your average cookie cutter horror film whose only aspiration is to make you soil your pants. That alone counts for a lot.
The movie also finds the right balance of light and dark for the material. Too dark and people would be depressed and disgusted by what’s on the screen, too light and it would have no effect. “Deadgirl” gets it just right. No small feat if you think about it.
However, that said, none of this will change the fact that the pacing is a bit too laid back and the dialogue is a bit too predictable and the character’s motivation sometimes seem a bit too dictated by the script, and that the film ditches some very interesting existential ideas about life and death in order to focus on shock and gore.
So it’s a close call, but I feel the good outweighs the bad; could have gone the other way though if the filmmakers hadn’t shown as much genuine talent as they did. Also, getting back to the controversial aspects of this thing for a minute, some people will either like this more than me because the controversial aspects genuinely shock them or utterly hate it because the controversial aspects make them want to vomit. Keep that in mind before viewing.
Posted on November 6, 2008 in Reviews by Jeremy Knox
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