Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Came From the $5 Bin: Deadline

I love bad horror and sci-fi movies. I also love the $5 movie bin. Several stores have these (Walmart, Target, even King Soopers). Sometimes you find a few treasures (The Grudge, King Soopers, $4.99) . . . and sometimes you find some straight-to-DVD suckfests. That is the nature of the $5 bin. I've decided to feature some reviews of a few of those films in . . . It Came From the $5 Bin! *cue the violins*

Best Buy - $6.99

Directed by Sean McConville

Starring: Brittany Murphy
Thora Birch
Marc Blucas

Kris and I found this film in the Bluray section of Best Buy. The cover looked promising (Brittany Murphy in a tub with a ghostly Thora Birch in the mirror) and it was only $6.99, so we decided to take a chance.

Deadline is the story of Alice - a struggling filmmaker with a crazy, stalker ex-boyfriend. As the film opens, she and her roommate are in the process of leaving their apartment. The roommate, Rebecca, is going to stay with her mother while she has surgery and Alice has been offered the chance to stay in a large country house to finish her screenplay, which is already past deadline. The house is quaint, but huge for one person and Rebecca tries to convince Alice to stay at their apartment, but Alice is frightened that her ex will try to find her there. She chooses to stay in the unfamiliar home, despite its creepy atmosphere. Alice hears strange noises in the night, specifically a woman crying and sounds coming from the attic. When she ventures upstairs, she finds a suitcase with a red dress and a box of home video cassettes. She begins to watch them and discovers they are home movies of the couple who lived in the home before. Alice watches the films as they progress from a loving, newlywed relationship to a possessive, jealous one. She begins to believe she is not alone in the house.

It's easy to see why Alice would get creeped out in a house like that and the husband David (Marc Blucas) becomes steadily more menacing. The plot starts to unravel towards the end, however and the finale is confusing, to say the least. There aren't a lot of scares, just an allover creepy feeling. It's less a ghost story and more a question of reality vs. the main character's sanity.

The film is not that bad . . . but it's not that good either. I can see why it went straight to DVD, but it definitely could have been worse. The verdict: Buy something else, but watch for the movie to appear on OnDemand or Netflix.

Deadline gets a 2 out of a possible 5 Torgos (the iconic character from the world's worst movie, Manos: Hands of Fate)

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