Death And Cremation

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In Crest Point, people go about their day-to-day lives with no sense of urgency and standard stereotypes abound. There's the high school bully with the popular girlfriend. The single mother raising her son after her husband has died. The detective who's never cracked a big case. Then there's STAN (Brad Dourif), a single 59 year old recluse who contributes to society by offering cremation services from the basement of his funeral home. JAROD LEARY (Jeremy Sumpter), a bullied and fatherless 17-year-old high school outcast doesn't even try to fit in with his high school peers. Dressed in black, with his hair and fingernails matching his wardrobe, Jarod draws attention to himself but not in a good way. He's constantly picked on by resident jock DAVID VALENTINE (Blake Hood) and doesn't seem to have much luck with the ladies either. Many decide he's a freak including cool girls LINDSEY WEAVER (Kate Maher) and Courtney Taylor (Madison Eginton), and although Courtney doesn't mind him, Lindsey has other plans. In addition to troubles at school, home life for Jarod isn't much better. Living out of a trailer, Jarod has to put up with nagging from his mother, MARTHA LEARY (Debbon Ayer), and her budding romance with self-righteous immigration attorney RICK WATERS (Sam Ingraffia). Sick of the badgering, Jarod finds after-school work as an apprentice at Stan's cremation house. The two quickly develop a quirky working relationship and soon Jarod starts to see Stan as a father figure. Not long after Jarod begins working at the cremation house people start to go missing, including Lindsey Weaver. Her parents BILL (Daniel Baldwin) and BECKY WEAVER (Staci Keanan) tell suburban detective MATT FAIRCHILD (Scott Elrod) about their recent family visit to a cremation house, and all trails lead to Stan. Rick begins to apply pressure on Jarod to accept him as Martha's boyfriend just as Jarod gets acclimated to life at the cremation home. When Jarod rejects a summer trip to Alabama witnessing Rick shows his ugly side. Detective Fairchild, meanwhile, steps up his investigation as more bodies amass. It's then that Stan must decide if protecting his newfound trainee is worth killing for. -- (C) Official Site

Cast

Staci Keanan
as Becky Weaver
Sam Ingraffia
as Rick Waters
Madison Eginton
as Courtney Taylor
Kate Maher
as Lindsey Weaver
Blake Hood
as David Valentine
Jeremy Sumpter
as Jared Leary
Debbon Ayer
as Martha Leary
Daniel Baldwin
as Bill Weaver
Scott Elrod
as Matt Fairchild
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Critic Reviews for Death And Cremation

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Audience Reviews for Death And Cremation

  • Jul 28, 2012
    From Peter Pan to a bullied outcast, Jeremy Sumpter continues to show his tremendous versatility as an actor in Death & Cremation. This cast was the whole reason I wanted to see this movie, but unfortunately it falls well short of my expectations. Stanley (Brad Dourif) is a loner and a serial killer who runs the perfect business for getting rid of evidence, a crematorium. He's a lonely man and nothing exciting happens to him until a loner named Jared (Sumpter) starts working for him. This film tries very hard to be something it's not and that's creepy. Death & Cremation isn't about blood and gore, but rather moves very slowly and methodically in order to try and freak us out, but sadly it doesn't. Stanley and Jared aren't guys you're going to be scared of, more like two guys you'd like to hang out with and that's the problem. The audience can relate to them and isn't scared of them at all. That being the case this film should have gone the other way and been extremely bloody and disturbing, but it's not that either. The story is bland and the movie is slow, but the cast is amazing. Brad Dourif plays a psychopath better than anyone and it really wouldn't surprise me if he is in fact a serial killer. Here he's teamed with one of my absolute favorite actors, who is also superb, but they're giving their all in a slow, sloppy film, that just doesn't cut it.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2010
    BY PAMELA DE GRAFF <B><I>DEATH AND CREMATION</I> (2010)</B> Independent WRITTEN BY: Alecc Bracero and Justin Steele DIRECTED BY: Justin Steele, FEATURING: Brad Dourif, Jeremy Sumpter, Scott Elrod, Debbon Ayer, Sam Ingraffia, Daniel Baldwin GENRE: <B>THRILLER</B> TAGS: slasher, horror, disturbing <B>PLOT: Revenge schemes spiral out of bounds when an eccentric crematorium owner unexpectedly bonds with a bullied goth teen upon discovering that they share mutual tormentors. </B> <b><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/death-and-cremation-14040328" target="_blank" > <font size="1" color="blue" face="courier"><CENTER><B>STILLS:<U><center>http://www.flixster.com/photos/death-and-cremation-14040328</U></B></font></a></b></CENTER> <center>(save and enlarge for full resolution)</center> <b><a href="http://www.flixster.com/photos/death-and-cremation-14040331" target="_blank" > <font size="1" color="blue" face="courier"><CENTER><B>STILLS 2:<U><center>http://www.flixster.com/photos/death-and-cremation-14040331</U></B></font></a></b></CENTER> <center></center> <b><a href="http://www.flixster.com/videos?videoId=11152291" target="_blank" > <font size="1" color="blue" face="courier"><CENTER><B>TRAILER:<U><center>http://www.flixster.com/videos?videoId=11152291 </U></B></font></a></b></CENTER> COMMENTS: Wow! What a fun, offbeat independent horror thriller! <I>Death And Cremation</I> fairly begs for a more intense exploration of its unique characters and delightfully creepy themes. The premise is primed for it, and an entire dimension dark potential goes untapped. Yet as it stands, <I>Death And Cremation</I> is still intriguing, captivating and entertaining. Brad Dourif is a character actor of modest range, but delightfully oddball and credible, he brings an engrossing, screen presence to his dramatic roles. In <I>Death And Cremation</I>, he plays an enigmatic funerary professional named Stan, a scar-faced loner with a charred soul, who runs his own crematory when he's not sifting through a variety of unsettling personal issues. Stan's a bit of a maverick and a rebel. Yet what's compelling about him is that his instincts are right on target. Anyone who's ever been bullied will identify with his motives, although his methods of dealing with social tormentors are a tad extreme; he murders people who are cruel to him, and he does it gruesomely. Conveniently, given the nature of his profession, Stan is well positioned to delete the evidence of his crimes. Who could ever solve his victims' disappearances when all that's left is smoke and ash? At the story's beginning, Stan observes an arrogant driver curse and mistreat a fellow motorist from the cab of her SUV. Stan makes short, bloody work of her, and frankly, anyone with a macabre sense of humor who's had to deal with such road discourtesy will want to cheer him on. When he's not doling out unorthodox social justice, Stan plods along through life, working crossword puzzles and dealing unenthusiastically with a lazy plume of rudely stupid, walk-in clients. Custodian to thousands of cremated remains, Stan's funeral parlor is also a "dry" mortuary. It sits above a modern basement catacomb of neatly filed, baked and powdered clients, some unclaimed or unwanted by families, others off the official record, the result of Stan's vigilante social chastisements. Stan's routine is heated up when a goth teen named Jarod (Sumpter) asks him for a job. Jarod is seeking refuge from incessant campus bullies, and from an exasperated single mother who demands he obtain some form of after school employment, something gainful and useful. Boy has he found it! Stan breaks Jarod into the sinister nuances of the funerary industry and all goes smoothly until Jarod wasps into work after a beating by school bullies. Stan, himself personally seared by the fallout of his own broken home and years of social abuse, bonds with Jarod on a new level. When Stan discovers he has a grim link to Jarod's bullies, an unexpected connection to which he was heretofore unaware, it lights a fire inside him. He plots to intervene on Jarod's behalf. And his intervention doesn't involve a logical appeal to the bullies' better instincts! As Jarod and Stan embark on parallel schemes to deal with personal tormentors, the pair build an uneasy alliance of mutual intrigue. Never expressly complicit with each other about their extracurricular activities, the duo shares an unspoken understanding which fans the flames of their collusion. <I>Death And Cremation</I> is more than just a revenge fable or a slasher tale. The film carries an amplitude that arcs beyond the basic action. It's one of ramification. Stan and Jarod choose to play a risky game by their own rulebooks. It takes a very special kind of person to pick up the tab for this sort of living. When a naive but persistent rookie detective Fairchild (Elrod) attempts to smoke out the true nature of the team's collaboration, he severely tests Stan and Jarod's adroitness. Is their unconventional rapport clear and cohesive enough to survive Fairchild's Argus-eyed meddling, or will their personal quirks and secretiveness prove to be an Achilles heel? Is the bond between Stan and Jarod sufficiently strong and atypical to stoke from deep within them a dimension of cunning that will enable the pair to escape the inferno of justice? <I>Death And Cremation</I> is a well-produced, offbeat independent film featuring some fresh thespian faces. The story's unconventional take on the common bully/revenge plot is punctuated by unexpected twists and sudden, shocking brutality. While the plot surges atop an undercurrent of macabre humor, <I>Death And Cremation</I> is no black comedy; it's a savagely violent yarn that breaks with convention in its frank, unapologetic treatment of its subject. Although the film flirts briefly with a high school setting, it's not a story about that world, nor is it a teen movie. Yet the <I>Death And Cremation's</I> familiar themes and stunning barbarism will strike a chord with any thinking horror enthusiast who has been burned by the smoldering coal of marginalization from the callous, mean-spirited behavior of aggressive conformists. <I>Death And Cremation's</I> characters are believable, and the movie has a novel, foreboding feel that's a refreshing change from Tinseltown repetition. Regrettably, the viewer is left hungering for more; Stan's character is so odd and unusual, we crave further insight into his background and motivations. The depiction of the burgeoning association between Stan and Jarod is cursory at best and it would be interesting to see a better treatment of just how two such unusual people pair-up and become confederates. Although the character development is brief, to its credit, the film swiftly establishes the basic archetypes without bogging in down in superfluous drama, and moves its plot along at a sprightly clip. While we may not know all we <I>want</I> to know about the participants, we know all we <I>need</I> to know appreciate the story as it's presented. Yet disappointingly Stan's extracurricular activities are primed for a much deeper exploration of their pertinent themes and ramifications. In short, the producers passed up a chance to realize the film's potential to become a deeply intriguing, eerie and complex exploration of rule breaking, scorched psyches, and black, somber paradigms. As it stands however, <I>Death And Cremation</I> is still such an enjoyable departure from the familiar Hollywood remakes, it is sure to please all but the most demanding and jaded horror fans.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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