Dread (2009, Anthony DiBlasi)

Stephen (dreamboat Jackson Rathbone from M. Night’s Last Airbender and the Twilight series) is a black haired film student who meets Quaid (edgy dude who studies fear). Stephen’s editor is a vegetarian girl, and I remember what happens to her from the short story. Abby is a girl with a dark goth birthmark all over her face and body – I liked her best.


The ol’ “kid upstairs watches his family get killed by a maniac below” bit. Didn’t I see the same scene in Giallo last week? Everyone in this movie has tattoos and listens to teen hard-rock. It’s like the vision of underground youth culture put forth by 8mm or Blair Witch 2. Whoops, there’s my favorite M83 song over a clubbing/sex/film editing montage so I guess I’m guilty too. They hang up their fear-study flyers (on red paper, of course) among gratuitous ads for the new Dresden Dolls album.

A stupid, awful, violent little movie. Makes sense that the vegetarian-trapped-in-room-with-rotting-meat scene from the short story would make it to the movie intact. There’s nothing horror movies enjoy more these days than a psychological (yet gruesome) torture chamber. This also shared a hint of the ending of Martyrs, the torturer gaining enlightenment by staring into the dying eyes of his victim, but that movie somehow seemed both far more violent and less gratuitous. Stephen ends up killing everyone, gets away, ho-hum.

The writer/director has his hands on most Barker-related movies of the recent past and near future, including Midnight Meat Train, Book of Blood, something called The Plague and the upcoming Hellraiser remake.