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Dead by Dawn

USA 2020
produced by
Linda Slade, Sean Cain, Jamie Bernadette, Erick Feigin (executive) for Silver Spider Investments, Velvet Hammer Films
directed by Sean Cain
starring Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Jamie Bernadette, Bo Burroughs, Timothy Muskatell, Bobby Slaski, Detra Hicks, Skylar Dominique, Jessie Hales, Bruce Spargo
idea by Sean Cain, screenplay by Wes Laurie, music by Mario Salvucci, special makeup effects by Marina Coria

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Lulu (Drew Lindsey Mitchell) just wants to go to a Halloween party with her boyfriend Shane (Bobby Slaski), instead the two get in a fight and she leaves into a hurry, still wearing her Red Riding Hood costume, and gets into the wrong cab ...

Dylan (Kelcey Watson) just wants to blow his brains out in his cabin in the woods when he gets distracted by pleas for help and finds a bloodied up Lulu on his doorstep and lets her in. Soon enough, two men, Neil (Bo Burroughs) and Chad (Timothy Muskatell), and a woman, Snack (Jamie Bernadette), knock on his door and ask Dylan to release Lulu to him, but he's quick to realize there's something fishy about their request, and since he's still holding onto the gun from his aborted suicide, they're quick to back off - but put the house under siege. From Lulu, Dylan learns that the three have been sexually abusing her, and of course would do anything to get her back. Now inside the cabin they'll be safe for a while of course, but not forever, and Dylan's ammonition for his gun's only very limited. And all they have to fall back upon is the journal of Dylan's deceased daughter (Skylar Dominique) detailing how to booby-trap a house in case of a zombie apocalypse. This is of course better than nothing - but not much better, since their opponents are a ruthless bunch ...

 

True, Dead by Dawn doesn't re-invent the wheel, and in its premise it's reminiscent of a whole bunch of backwoods and home invasion thrillers from predominantly the 1970s - but the film does what it does extremely well: It creates maximum tension rather early and then never lets loose, it doesn't shy away from violence, its villains are properly ruthless - but it's also well-crafted, carefully structured to really build up to a finale rather than just numb the viewer with an onslaught of brutality, and it features interesting characters and character arcs. And of course a strong ensemble cast also helps in making this a really cool genre movie.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD