HELEN’S DEAD is a crime-mystery that sometimes feels a bit like a horror-comedy. The title is from some dialogue in the opening scene, but we do get to see what happened before this. A great cast and wacky characters. Read our full Helen’s Dead movie review here!
HELEN’S DEAD is a new genre-hybrid movie. Part crime, thriller, and mystery with a touch of horror-comedy as things get fatal. The cast alone was enough to make me curious and they delivered some great performances.
The characters are as wacky as you would expect from a horror comedy. They tend to be rather unapologetic when it comes to looking out for number one. If someone else has to bite the bullet, then so be it. I loved the cast and the characters as much as the 84-minute runtime, which is exactly what a movie like this can handle.
Continue reading our Helen’s Dead movie review below. Find it in theaters and on demand from November 3, 2023.
A character-driven campy plot
In Helen’s Dead, we meet Addie (Dylan Gelula) who seems to think her relationship is going okay, even if it’s been better. Quickly, however, she discovers that her boyfriend, Adam (Emile Hirsch), has been sleeping with her cousin Helen (Matilda Lutz).
Obviously, this wasn’t how she expected her relationship to end, so she takes it upon herself to confront the cheating boyfriend and her cousin. One may wonder why, as Adam is a real dirtbag. This is a running theme in the movie as he consistently says and does things that are downright despicable. Emile Hirsch is clearly having fun in this role!
Addie has dropped the idea of going to her other cousin’s dinner party. However, this other cousin, the “canceled” influencer Leila (Annabelle Dexter-Jones) is the sister of Helen, so it’s the perfect place to confront the two. Of course, cheating Adam is at the dinner party, so she’ll be able to create one hell of a scene.
Or so she thought, but then it turns out that Helen is dead. Bummer!
We also meet the older husband of Leila. His name is George (Brian Huskey) and he is never seen without a drink in his hand. Other guests at the dinner party are the wannabe actor Garrett (Oliver Cooper), who was invited by Helen, and also Helen’s lover/ex-con Henry (Tyrese Gibson).
Finally, there’s the one person this dinner party is held for; The journalist (Beth Dover) whom Leila wants to impress, so she can get “un-canceled” and get back to her influencer career.
The title in the dialogue
I admit it, I love it when the title becomes part of the story or even dialogue in a way that sets the stage. For Helen’s Dead, it’s dialogue spoken (or shouted with some annoyance really) in the opening scene. Then we go back and watch what happened on the very same day leading up to this deadly dinner party.
In this movie, it very quickly becomes obvious that everyone is looking out for themselves. Also, it seems that everyone wants to be with Helen. Meanwhile, Helen just wants to be left alone. Well, she gets her wish, I suppose, while we get caught up in a murder mystery that no one has time for.
Again, everyone is so far up their own a$$ that they really can’t be bothered. I’m oversimplifying, of course, but not nearly as much as you would think.
Watch Helen’s Dead in theaters and On Demand
The director of Helen’s Dead is K. Asher Levin (Slayers), who also came up with the story alongside the screenplay writer Amy Brown Carver. These two must have had a great time coming up with the story, which also feels very complete.
Sometimes these campy plots run amok, but this one manages to hit the breaks before that happens. To me, anyway.
While everyone in the cast delivers exactly what’s needed, I have to say that Emile Hirsch does shine as a complete dirtbag. His character is just a dumpster fire of a human being. Also, I have to comment that I hope we’ll soon get to see Tyrese Gibson play something else. Anything else than the exact same kind of character. It’s getting boring.
The 84-minute runtime of this wild genre hybrid is another thing that works. It is pretty damn crazy and you can only handle that much wild and wacky in one setting. This one stops when it should, but also delivers what I hoped for.
Helen’s Dead is In Theaters & On Demand November 3, 2023.
Director: K. Asher Levin
Writers: Amy Brown Carver, K. Asher Levin
Cast: Dylan Gelula, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz, Emile Hirsch, Tyrese Gibson, Oliver Cooper, Brian Huskey
Helen’s Dead follows the story of Addie (Dylan Gelula). After a terrible breakup with her boyfriend, Addie goes to confront her best friend about cheating allegations and accidentally steps into a murder scene.