Cooper Hopkins as Dwayne
Spencer Hamp as Marcus
Rachel Brun as Ilsa
Directed by Bobbin Ramsay

The first film we (me and my girl A) screened at the 2016 IHSFF was Dead Body. Highly enjoyable, with a decent twist. Lots of gore and goo.

What was hoped to be a small group hanging out for the weekend turns quickly into a 9-person game night. Once darkness falls, one character suggests the group play a game of Dead Body—kind of like a murder mystery dinner, exchanging hide-and-seek for the food. Not surprisingly, a realization that the game is no longer a game creates a highly stressful, distrusting group. One by one, they start to die. Will our hero (but is she our hero?) figure out what’s happening before she, too, becomes a…Dead Body?

Again, tons of blood. Good sound effects—I believe a handheld saw was employed at one point to remove a head from its neck. It was hard to tell, however, because I COULDN’T SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON. One thing you have to realize, as a filmmaker, is that you don’t want to underestimate your audience. They’re quick. They pay attention. They want a good story. If you have a fight with your DOP or your post editing team, too bad for you. But we need to see your film. I know, I know—the film is set in the woods. The story is set at night. You have to remember that nine hundred million horror films have been set in the woods at night. The successful ones? Have good lighting.

Ok, enough of that.

One other thing that I’ve learned from years and years of gleefully watching people getting hacked up and wrapped in tarps before being dropped in their own trunk is that you’ve got to have a good reveal. Dead Body delivers in this area. No spoilers: I had a feeling I knew who was going to be involved early on, but the motive? Never saw it coming. Good job, writers! You left us a killer (heh heh) smoking gun.

Scream Meter: 5/10 Yes, I jumped. Couldn’t see anything coming, remember?

Buddy Meter: 6/10 You’ll need someone to deconstruct this with. It’s also cool to see if they react the same way you do.

Overall Rating: 6/10 Entertaining, great plot twist. Just couldn’t SEE myself watching it again. Yes, I know. Dead horse. It was frustrating.


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