Friday, October 24, 2008

Long Time Dead -- reviewer Lee Pletzers

Long Time Dead
AKA: The Shadow

Directed by Marcus Adams

Rob -- Joe Absolom
Stella -- Lara Belmont
Annie -- Melanie Gutteridge
Webstar -- Lukas Hass
Spencer -- James Hillier
Liam -- Alec Newman
Joe -- Mel Raido
Lucy Marsha Thomason

This is one hell of a movie based on the old and overused concept -- the Ouiji Board, and an evil spirit.

It’s a British movie with punch. Largely better than most British horror before 2002, it surpasses all expectations. I was tense watching this; the only problem with this movie was the way the lead characters were introduced -- as social druggies. The four guys are outside snorting coke off a rail line as the train came toward them, just to see how far they’ll go for kicks. The girls are upstairs in a warehouse drinking.

There are 8 in all who take part in the Ouiji Board “fun” and one has a video camera.

The movie opens in the standard “you are about to watch a horror movie” way. It opens in Morocco, 1976, where a group of occultists are murmuring / chanting, while a group sits at an Ouiji Board making contact with “Djin” an evil spirit from the ancient days. A Shaman is supervising, when all hell breaks loose and Djin kills all but two.

--Time for the credits--

Next we are introduced to the characters. As I mentioned there are eight. The leading man, Liam is accosted by constant flashes of a boy running away from…something. There are two leading ladies at first Stella and Lucy. Stella dies an awesome death and that leaves Lucy to figure out a way to get rid of the evil. I didn’t actually know there were two leading ladies, I thought it was only Stella, so much focus was on her until she bought the proverbial farm.

Anyway, Lucy is the one who knows about contacting spirits and it is her idea (while the guys are stoned and the girls drunk) to do an Ouiji Board session. She warns them not to break contact with the glass ‘cause that’ll be like shutting the door the spirit used to enter, leaving them (it) trapped in here -- our world.

Most don’t believe in this hogwash until Lucy says, “Is anyone there?” and the glass moves to YES. “Do you have a message for us?” A-L-L-D-I-E. The messages is repeated twice. Then it spells out it’s name: D-J-I-N, repeatedly, going faster and faster and faster until the glass is hot to touch.

Freaked out by all this and suffering another vision during the ‘session’, Liam jumps up, grabs the glass and smashed it on the floor. Locking Djin in our world and the only way he can get back is by killing everyone. But, he’s not in a hurry to get back -- he has a score to settle with the two remaining cult members for 1976.

The film’s only been playing roughly twenty minutes and the next seventy-four minutes are tense, in your face…fear. That reads: T-E-N-S-E-F-E-A-R. The killings are done one by one and all are executed beautifully. The best of the lot is Stella in the University bathroom. And why? Because she’s not alone, there’s a student in the stall next to her.

Djin is like a God of fire so the only way to be rid of him is to somehow burn him. But we never once see the spirit and I think this is what adds to the fear factor that made this movie great.

If you can find it, rent it or buy it. A great addition to any dvd/movie collection and a must see for all horror films. Oh, by the way, this movie was not a big budget movie with thousands of bells and whistles and 90% eye-candy and a ten minute credits roll. I don’t think it was an Indy film as it had too many professional touches to it and the editing was hard to notice and GOD, the soundtrack…is so perfect. This was a low budget, small company movie and it rocked.

Hollywood should watch some of these movies and take note. I haven’t experienced a great movie like this in years, thought I was numbed to the tension a film was meant to deliver. Guess not.

Once in awhile a gem, comes along and Long Time Dead is it.


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