Rickie is bent on impressing his childhood crush, who is dating one of the boys who bullies him. He doesn't agree with JT, but is soon caught in between.
There's a lot of opportunity here for a movie that could probably tackle interesting issues like women as objects of desire, sexual attraction, teen isolation. Nope. It does none of those. It goes for the gore, but then forgets to go all the way with its concept.
Thus, you're left with a film that is predictable and lifeless. It ends up being just another ordinary zombie film, which is a shame because it's trying to be everything else but that.
Two high school boys discover an imprisoned woman in an abandoned mental asylum who cannot die.
Call me one sick puppy; I may even be sicker than I think, because I really enjoyed this grizzly stomach turner. Morals and a battle of wills come into play when a couple of teen never-do-wells skip class to drink some beers and literally raise some hell in an abandoned mental institute. Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez)and J.T. (Noah Segan)make a horrifying discovery that is far from being anything that is right. Things get real horrid when the two share their "discovery". You will find it pitiful before slowly losing control of your stomach contents. A lot of nudity and graphic sexual situations and more may be hard to digest. You've been warned. At the moment I'm willing to sample a second helping.
Also in the cast: Candice Accola, Eric Podnar, Nolan Gerard Funk, Christina Blevins and Jenny Spain, as the "Deadgirl". Heavy and moody music by The Liars, The Spokes Men and The Black Summer Crush.
They find a dirty naked woman chained to a table and do what any teen in a horror movie would do. They keep her chained up and have sex with her. After they discover she is a zombie.
And that's where I tuned out.
The jump from "Oh, man... it's a woman tied up!" to "We can keep her chained up and have sex with her anytime we want cause she's a zombie!" happens in the space of about three minutes. So stupid.
I also found one of the main actors, Fernandez, to have one of the most annoying faces in film in a long time. He constantly has this look on his face like he's smirking and trying to kiss the air at the same time and I founf myself growing angry at the stupid expression and that just added to the lameness of the movie. I tuned out and started playing Angry Birds on my iPod about 30 min and barely looked up at the screen after that.
Avoid this one.
This is effective as a "make you think about fucked up shit" movie, not a jumpscare thriller or a gore showcase. As such, it has to make some characters that matter, and it does. These characters have dimension and their actions correspond to what we can expect of them.
I watched it twice. Would serve as a nice boys' version companion piece to Teeth in the category of modern (super fucking weird) sexual development horror.
Look a little deeper, and it's a coming of age story about prejudice based on class, and the feeling of helplessness people can feel because of their social standing.
It also serves as a commentary on the soullessness of girls. Deadgirl represents the only type of girl poor kids will ever have. She's nothing but a sex doll, rotten from large amounts of meaningless sex. JoAnn, the popular rich girl, will only be with popular, rich guys no matter how cruel they treat other people. This movie is so misanthropic, I'm surprised it wasn't made in France.
So, morals aside, is the movie entertaining? Yes it is.
FYI - This is not a zombie movie. There may be a zombie in it, but that's not the overarching point. This is not a "Watch the zombie terrorize a town by eating people's faces and causing panic" thing. This is a "See how humans react to an 'available' woman in a disturbingly feral and boys'-club way" kind of thing.
The overall story is solid -- lame, misunderstood, bottom-tier high school guys find weird, maybe-dead-maybe-alive woman chained to a table in an abandoned asylum, and very messed-up hijinks ensue. The movie hasn't been screened too widely, even though it's a 2008 film, so I don't want to give too much of it away, but it delves into male-female dynamics, social hierarchy, sex/power addiction, and the always-present moral dillemmas. Moreover, "Deadgirl" explores what is perceived reality and what is pure fantasy, and how do two (ok, three) people who grew up together act differently to the reality/fantasy issue?
"Deadgirl" really was a fascinating story. However, it's a story that I much rather would have read than watched. I went to a midnight showing of this, which to me made it feel all the more surreal. As the film went on, the scenes presented kept getting more revolting, more gritty, more... everything. I had to watch through my hands through much of this. I don't deal well with control/rape/deeply psychological movies anyway, but this one completely jarred my system more than just about any other.
Aside: After the movie, a friend and I watched several episodes of "Family Guy" to get the "Deadgirl" taste out of our mouths. This didn't help tremendously, as I still had horrific dreams that were more disturbing than usual. Even now in the afternoon, I'm having difficulty not seeing "Deadgirl" in my head, and I feel quite unsettled.
So yeah, "Deadgirl" was a horror movie; just not in the way one usually expects.
The writing generally was good. Like I said, the story itself is intriguing, and the character study was well done. Friendship, betrayal, unrequited love and fatalism all are explored to great degree. However, there are a few cheesy lines and scenes that seemed thrown in for "Har-dee-har-har" factor and didn't advance the movie -- in fact, those useless pieces took me out of it, a bit. In addition, there are a few scenes that I (and obviously people around me) thought "Wait, there's just NO WAY that would ever happen. NO ONE IS THAT DUMB." I don't think the writers meant for those elements to unfold in a B-movie way; I think they just didn't think them through OR they just really wanted those scenes come hell or high water.
All in all, it was a good movie, a good departure from the usual horror stuff, and something to talk about and occupy the mind long after the credits roll. That's also the problem, though -- sleep can be hard to come by after watching "Deadgirl."
But the worse complaint really should be adressed to the main actors. Sure, they're supposed to be detestable but they're so lame on how they act it's almost laughable. Imagine the worse looks, phrases from everyone's favorite soap operas and multipy it by an atrocious factor of x100.