Besides being incredibly lacking in originality, scares, or even those small guilty pleasures I always manage to find in any Slasher film, the new British Slasher flick “Long Time Dead” doesn’t even have the decency to flash some T&A in my direction. How utterly…lacking. Or pathetic, might be the right word.
“Long Time Dead” is just plain…bad. The movie is about the usual suspects of Slasher victims — er, characters. That is, party-hardy teens or 20-somethings who indulges in sex, drugs, and rock’n'roll on a nightly basis. Our group of brain dead partygoers decide it’ll be a nice “buzz” to play a game of Quiji boarding (is that a word?) in an abandoned warehouse one night. Things get out of hand and one boy flees the scene, leaving the others to wonder if they’ve just summoned a real life ghost. That same night, one of the players end up dead, falling through a skylight into a nightclub with burn marks all over her legs. Ouch. Things don’t get better for our other victims as it becomes known a fire demon called the Djinn has been set loose, and it’s out for blood…
At this point, I said to myself: Wait a minute, I thought the Djinn was a demon that granted wishes, and then killed you by twisting and perverting your wishes into something nasty?
Slasher movies are a dime a dozen nowadays, and I suppose it was inevitable that someone else would reach into the same bag of tricks and pull out a similar villain such as the Djinn. I wonder if the people responsible for the American B-horror franchise “Wishmaster” have a good lawyer? As it stands, the Djinn in “Long Time Dead” looks like a bad refugee from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” so I suppose the wish-granting Djinn from “Wishmaster” is probably safe from being surpassed.
It deserves to be mentioned again that “Long Time Dead” is just bad. I mean bad in the sense that you shake your head and wonder why in the world someone green lit this movie. Even more mind numbing is how and why did it take six (count them, six!) writers to come up with this garbage? “Long Time Dead” is so lacking in anything remotely approaching entertainment that getting through its 84-odd minutes was a chore worthy of Sainthood. I have never witnessed something so terrible, so utterly boring and underwhelming in my life. Even for a Slasher film with cardboard characters, “Long Time Dead” fails in every category imaginable. And believe me, I do not exaggerate by making these points, dear readers.
Let’s list the failures, shall we? There’s the characters. When I discovered that the filmmakers had stacked 8 (count them, eight) kids to be victims to our evil, mysterious Djinn (Tongue firmly in cheek here, folks.), I was expecting, if nothing else, at least a high bodycount. Even the worst Slasher films can be saved by a high bodycount and inspired kill scenes. “Long Time Dead” doesn’t seem to be concern with kill scenes, despite the fact that it is all about being a Slasher film. Does that make sense to you? It certainly doesn’t make any sense to me. Why make a Slasher film and then deny the audience of even the slightest bit of guilty pleasure?
All the criteria of Slasher movies are here, and the filmmakers even use, as their first victim, a girl we see shagging (that’s British for “getting horizontal”) her boyfriend at a nightclub. Of course, being that “Long Time Dead” is going out of its way to not entertain you, we don’t even get a decent shot of the sex — or what passes for sex, since we see the girl straddle her boyfriend and cut away. Sigh.
The film also drags out the stalk scenes to infinity. Stalk scenes are where a character wanders around in the dark, around a dark house, or dark hallway being stalked by “invisible” ghosts (re: the camera). It’s not bad enough that the stalking goes on forever, but more than half the time nothing happens. There is no payoff, and even if there is a payoff, the filmmakers seem to have mistaken their production for a classy film and refuse to show the killings onscreen. It is at this point that I wonder why the filmmakers don’t just poke my eyes out with chopsticks and call it a day.
And the music. Don’t even get me started on the music. “Long Time Dead” features one of the most obnoxious, loud, and pointless musical score I have come across in a long, long time. Forget for one moment that I am a student of film and thus have seen so many Slasher films I should be committed, but why in the world do the filmmakers feel it is necessary to put every single stalk scene to loud, pounding music that just screams, “Get ready kids! Here it comes! Here it comes!” And of course, 6 out of 10 times, nothing comes.
I normally start listing actors and the names of filmmakers here, but why bother? The actors are all new faces that picked this film as a stepping-stone, so they can’t be faulted for choosing this insipid trash. (It is probably a given that they will probably go on to bigger and better things. They would have to, wouldn’t they?) The filmmakers, and all six (six!!) writers, on the other hand, should be fasten to the back of a pick-up and dragged up and down an Interstate road, then chastised for making me sit through this…thing.
Marcus Adams (director)
CAST: Joe Absolom …. Rob
Lara Belmont …. Stella
Melanie Gutteridge …. Annie
Lukas Haas …. Webster
James Hillier …. Spencer
Alec Newman …. Liam