December 7, 2009

Review: Dread (2010)

"Wow. Color me pleasantly surprised."

Cast Members of Note- Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Evans, Hanne Steen, Laura Donnelly, and a bunch of random hot chicks.

Dread is a complex movie about what people fear, what that fear makes them do, and how they basically end up bat-shit crazy from anything bad that happened in their childhood. We all fear something, don't we? Something that messed us up so bad as a kid that we can barely function normally in adult society? Here's mine: To this day, I can't look at a candy cane without shivering. Thanks for the dread, random guy in the woods behind Costco...

That's pretty much what my face looked like.
Anywho, when an aw-shucks nice College geek with messy Emo hair meets an on-the-edge bad boy looking for a smoke in a back alley, things get crazy. Not like that, pervs. They do share a smoke though, and the bad boy asks Emo kid "What are you afraid of" (which only furthers the need for a gay joke here), and prompts the start of a thesis project all about dread.

"Enough with the gay jokes already!"
With the help of a cute gal pal, the three start out to interview other College kids about their deepest fears in the hopes of getting an A on their thesis. Of course, things get way creepy and spin out of control, leaving a wake of dead bodies and shattered psyches all over campus. Will they face their fears? Will they realize that the bad boy isn't right in the head? Will the Emo kid from Twilight ever get laid? Maybe. Maybe not.

Art. Sexy, sexy art.
Clive Barker has a knack for tapping into the deeper recesses of the human psyche. The parts of the spirit beyond the shadow, where the marrow of darkness itself flows like a river. The nasty bits. With Dread, he shows us that the Human condition is not only fragile, but that it can often times be corrupt and wrong. I love Clive Barker.

This is a well made movie, smart and sharp. The color scheme, the pacing, even the sound is used to inspire dread, and do so to great effect. There's a scene towards the end of the movie that killed me based on the sound alone. Hell of a job by the actors in this one too, especially Jackson Rathbone. His performance here is hell and gone from his bland character in Twilight; here he... he just nails everything perfectly. The Twilight kid had depth and range... I'm still in shock.

She is also in shock.
Why wasn't Zoe Stollery given a bigger part in this movie, like maybe a good lesbian subplot or something? Have you seen her? She's just begging for more screen time by virtue of her boobs alone.

Hot Totty.
Do Clive Barker movies ever have happy damned endings?

No, nor do they have happy beginnings or middles either.
It's Clive Barker, you already know the answer to this one. The movie inspired dread visually as well as thematically, and there was no shortage of blood or cringe-worthy violence.

A literal blood-bath.
Indeed, indeed, indeed! It's been a while since a good Horror movie has shown gratuitous sex and skin (and in abundance), and I must say that it was refreshing.

"I want us to take our study to the next level" or "My pubes... they started to grow this... cheese."

The next level.
Never trust the creepy loner guy. Also, birthmarks can be kinda sexy.

We ain't even mad.
I have no choice but to give this movie an A. If the rest of the upcoming After Dark Horrorfest (January 2010) shapes up to be this good, I will be pleased as punch. This movie was subtle, and it hit on every nerve of mine that the filmmakers intended to hit, and it all left me feeling satisfied for a change. I'll see it again when it hits theaters in January, and I have to say, so should you.


Dread is available now on DVD and VOD.

Zoe Stollery is in this. Magnificently.


  1. I felt exactly the same way after seeing this: I went out with low expectations and left pleasantly surprised.

  2. Fantastic film! Highly disturbing, I completely agree with this review and I love Clive Barker because his films never have happy endings.

  3. Fantastic film! Highly disturbing, I completely agree with this review and I love Clive Barker because his films never have happy endings.

  4. Hmm an After Dark Horrorfest movie worth checking out. Well thats a first. It's on my radar!

  5. I'll be curious to see what you think about it Jaded.

  6. AfterDark may be redeeming themselves this year. This looks great! Thanks for the review.

  7. I definitely need to check this out!