Dead List is a brilliant little horror surprise. A low-budget horror-comedy anthology that works on every single level. The story, acting, and all special effects are on point and truly impressive. I was simply blown away!
Dead List is so much better than what I could’ve ever imagined. I mean, we’re used to watching low-budget productions and I really love them. Generally, low-budget and indie productions are made by people who really care about what they’re doing. And it shows!
Still, some low-budget productions are made simply because it’s possible. These days, anyone with a smartphone and some editing skills can actually make a movie. It doesn’t mean the movie will be good, however. We’ve seen examples of both very bad and extremely good low-budget productions.
And then there’s Dead List which is – by all the standards that count – at least as good as any bigger budget studio production.
You can watch the trailer for Dead List right here or continue reading our review below.
The potential is almost scary good
Every now and then, we watch these low-budget productions and are amazed to find these goofy grins on our faces. Not that we don’t expect the movies to be good. However, we do expect that some things may fall a bit short. When money is tight, not everything can be perfect.
Often it’s the story or the acting. Other times it can be shabby editing or bad sound. For Dead List you don’t notice any of these things. The one thing I noticed a few times was that the lighting was maybe a bit off. And really, in the grand scheme of it all, that amounts to nothing.
Also, what they manage to do with the effects is unbelievable. First of all, they avoid directly showing the things that are difficult to pull off. Something that works perfect for horror in any case, since our own minds are sick enough to figure out what’s happening.
And the effects that are used are done so with elegance and purpose. Yes, I am actually thinking of the man covered in bloody goo as I’m writing this. That scene was awesome! Trust me, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you watch Dead List.
Dead List is one of the best anthologies
I love horror anthologies and I also love horror-comedies, so obviously, Dead List is perfect for me. Still, even if I was to judge it for just one of those subgenres, it still stands as one of the best in that niche.
The story is so damn good and relevant and the actors really capture the mood perfectly.
I won’t give away any spoilers, but basically, the anthology is showing the death of each person on “the dead list”. And from the very first short story, I knew this was my kind of movie.
I could easily watch a feature film with each of the short stories from this anthology. And yet, I can’t commend the movie makers enough for being so tight with each story. The whole runtime is just 80 minutes, so that’s 1 hour and 20 minutes.
There’s a saying about “always leave them wanting more” and that fits Dead List perfectly. But also, the movie works so well as a whole because they don’t let any of the stories run for too long.
Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen & Victor Mathieu
Dead List consists of five short films (or short stories), which are tied together by one continuing underlying story. This is typically how an anthology works, but Dead List is still one of the best examples of how to make it feel like a complete work.
Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, and Victor Mathieu wrote and directed Dead List. They’re each credited for the segments they were in charge of, but this feels like a match made in heaven. Other anthologies feel like short films with no real connection, while this feels like a perfectly prepared meal, where you can’t decide what you like the best.
If this is what Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, and Victor Mathieu can manage on a low-budget, I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next. Any studio should be looking to see how they can get these guys working with them.
Also, every one of the actors has a great way to show off what they can do. They all work surprisingly well with no one being a weak link. Or rather, it’s surprising to me, but clearly, they’re just damn good at their job.
DEAD LIST is available 5/1/18 on VOD, 7/3/18 on DVD, and 9/4/18 on SVOD. Do not miss this one!
Director: Holden Andrews, Ivan Asen, Victor Mathieu
Cast: Matt Fowler, Rob Healy, Holden Andrews, Deane Sullivan, Jan-David Soutar, Nick Bandera
Calvin is competing with five other actors — Zander, Scott, Kush, Jason and Bob — for a major movie role. Stopping at nothing to win the role of a lifetime, he uses a demonic book to curse his fellow actors, with each actor being killed off in their own separate unique and terrifying chapter.