Saturday, November 10, 2007

Review - The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)

FORWARD: A while ago, I uploaded my reviews for the 8 Films to Die For as part of the AfterDark Horror Fest in 2007 to this blob. Back then the blog was called Rick’s Blog. However, since then Blogger erased them for some reason so I decided to upload them again on the dates in which they were written. I also uploaded them to IMDb just in case. These reviews are little peeks into my early movie reviewing days; back when I use to repeat myself, back when I wrote the way I talk and back when I rambled a lot. However, I feel that despite my hasty and rushed sentences I was trying to make a point. Also, it’s very interesting for me to reflect back when I was just beginning to write my thoughts down about certain movies. So here is the review for The Deaths of Ian Stone

Still Kickin’

This movie is a very interesting piece of work, in fact, the entire story was thick and convoluted, but knowing myself I like it. There were some good scary parts and at points it just seemed tiring. The story is essentially about Ian Stone, who lives one life and then dies and wakes up in a different life doing some different job. The reason why Dementor looking spirits are constantly killing him is because he had done something to one of them and they don't want him to remember. This was a great storyline, until the plot changed and these things now want him to remember. Aside from this, this film was pretty good and had some very good scares. Perhaps I underestimated this movie and for a Horror Fest film, it was satisfying. The acting was good, there were some tense action scenes, the camera work was okay, and the plot was iffy.

Mike Vogel, who plays Ian Stone, does a terrific job playing someone who is being continuously killed. He puts good emotion into his character, he makes you feel that he is scared and when gets killed, you see that in his eyes and his expression. When the end of the movie approaches, after his fourth life, he begins to slowly dissipate his acting. Not that it is his fault but it becomes humorous. Jaime Murray, who plays Medea, does an okay job for what her character demands, which is being calm, charismatic and very monotone. She actually does a great job in the series Dexter, but this movie does not show her best work, it's really borderline work. Christina Cole, who plays Ian's multiple love interest and a key part in this whole plot, is a fantastic actress and really puts her performance to the test in this one. She does a great job, and for somebody who has been in some movies here and there and some TV shows, she does a great job. Michael Feast, who plays Gray, fooled me. At first it sounded like Michael Caine, looks like Michael Caine for a minute, then I finally caught on that it wasn't. He does a great job playing his part. Calm, fearful, authority figure and very emotional towards the end. A great performance by a "Michael Caine look-a-like."

The scares in this movie were not abundant, but when it hypes up to them, it scares. These spirits, or "Harvesters" as the film calls them, look a lot like Dementors from Harry Potter. I think Dementors played a heavy part in the creation of these things and they are a little scarier then Dementors. When they materialize their hands into scythes or they glide in the air like a black sandstorm, is pretty scary, especially when they have razor sharp teeth. This movie successfully makes shadows scary, or at least for my taste. To see these insect-like shadows line the dimmed walls of a hospital or apartment complex seems scary to me, accompanied with horrid shrieks and body contortion. Yeah, that was pretty creepy. The line "When a clock stops, that's when you know they are coming," somehow makes me shiver. The feeling that something unearthly knows where you are, is watching you and wants to kill you by any means possible, that you can't even see and that it’s somewhere out there. A great scare is in the beginning when Ian is a teenager and finds "something" huge lying "dead" by the train tracks.

The plot, at first, is vastly confusing and cryptic, as plots often are, and you begin to wonder how this whole thing will end. How could there be an end to this? Is there an end? There is but the plot was great. Had a driving story and the progression to Ian's realization that he is living different lives was well played. However, the plot changes *snap* like that and the Harvesters now want him to remember. That was kind of confusing. The ending to this seemingly never-ending story has a great twist that in some way I could speculate even before the ending. Too many clues near the middle. One thing that I did not like about the story was the Harvester face-off in the boiler room. I went from drama to monster horror to WWE Smackdown. A kind of oddball in the general lineup of scenes and just didn't fit like some of the others. Perhaps that fight and the whole torture hospital thing was a bit unnecessary.

Overall, I have to cut this comment short. I enjoyed this movie to a great level that just above average. It was not not scary but certainly not too scary, it had some pretty good acting and performances, a fair amount of scares and spinetinglers and overall just a fun horror movie to watch. I would not dish out $8.50 to see it, but I would rent it and watch it, I would recommend this to horror fans. It was a good movie for what it offered and I think that's what matters.

My unedited IMDb review.