DEAD & BEAUTIFUL on Shudder is a new horror movie with a vampire theme. A group of spoiled rich young adults turns into vampires after a night they can’t remember. It takes place in Taiwan, but most dialogue is in English. Read our full Dead & Beautiful movie review here!

DEAD & BEAUTIFUL is a new Shudder horror movie. The core plot is very simple on the surface, but ultimately, the story has a lot more to it than you might expect. It’s a vampire movie, but very different than what you may have seen before. For one, it seems the rules for vampires are very different this time around.

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Also, the group of friends, who suddenly become vampires, are young and rich. This alone means they react differently than most people would. While this movie takes place in Taiwan, the cast is international and the movie is mostly in English along with some Mandarin.

Continue reading our Dead & Beautiful movie review below and find it on Shudder in November.

The power of money

The core plot of Dead & Beautiful is definitely an intriguing one; A group of friends – always trying to push boundaries – turn into vampires over night. And not just any night, but a night where they can’t remember anything that happened. They just wake up with fangs. Also, there’s a dead body nearby with the iconic vampire bite mark in his neck.

Obviously, turning into a vampire is a pretty life changing event. However, for these five young people, it doesn’t change in ways you might expect. You see, they come from some of the wealthiest families in Taiwan. Also, while they all speak Mandarin, they mostly speak English among themselves since they come from various countries.

What they mostly have in common is this: Money is no issue in any way (it’s just always there) and they are desperately bored.

In other words, turning into a vampire is the most interesting thing that has happened in quite some time. They mostly just start exploring what it means. And in that process, they discover most isn’t as the books and movies have described. Ultimately, there are more layers to the story, but the less you know about this, the better.

Dead & Beautiful – Shudder Review

The cast of Dead & Beautiful

The core cast works really well in general. While I was not exactly familiar with these actors, I had no problem buying into these people being lifelong friends. Also, it was interesting how their main reason for being friends seemed to be that they came from similar backgrounds (money) and understood what was expected of them (nothing much).

Of course, this is mostly how friendships happen. You meet because you have something in common (either interest or location). Ultimately, the friendships that last are the ones that understand and respect you.

For these rich young adults, it seems their immense fortune keeps them from being understood by others. At least they seem to see it that way which is why they are usually bored. They can do anything at any time, which has essentially ruined their lust for life.

The casting includes Gijs Blom as Mason, Philip Juan as Bin-Ray, Anna Marchenko as Anastasia, Yen Tsao as Alexander, and Aviis Zhong as Lulu. I’m sure even the names make it obvious just how international this cast is. However, as mentioned earlier, they do all speak Mandarin. Of course, I can’t say whether it sounds fluent and natural or not.

Watch Dead & Beautiful on Shudder!

Dead & Beautiful was written and directed by the Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek. This is the first movie of his I’ve watched, but I am definitely a fan of his style in both the visual and storytelling sense. Mostly, the drawback for me with this new Shudder movie was the runtime.

The runtime is simply too long which means there’s a lull in the final half which did nothing good for the movie. Also, many of the twists and turns were ultimately rushed. To have both issues in the same movie – being too long due to slow passages and rushing important elements – is not a good thing.

However, for the first half, I was sure this movie would be worthy of a strong 4 out of 5 rating. In other words, it is very much worth watching but just stumbles a bit in the final half. It’s a shame since this one offered a vampire story that worked extremely well in most ways.

DEAD & BEAUTIFUL was screened at Fantastic Fest, but it will also be out on Shudder on November 4, 2021.

Details

Director: David Verbeek
Cast: Gijs Blom, Aviis Zhong, Yen Tsao, Philip Juan, Anechka Marchenko

Plot

In Dead & Beautiful, five rich, spoiled Asian twenty-somethings are suffering from upper class ennui, unsure how to spend their days when so little is expected from them. In search of excitement, the five friends form the “Circle,” a group where they take turns designing a unique, extravagant experience for the others. But things go wrong when the privileged urbanites awaken after a night out, to find they have developed vampire fangs and an unquenchable thirst for flesh, blood, and adventure at any price. 

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard