There’s a certain amount of clout going for this movie before you even watch it. Brought to the world from the same people that brought us Hellraiser and Heathers, written by Trent Haaga, Dark Sky Films releasing it…not bad. Here’s the thing: It’s sort of a rape/necrophilia story. Now, I know what you’re gonna say-“why the hell would I watch that?!” To tell you the truth, I don’t have a good answer. Hell, I’m not sure what really drew me to it, other than the fact that I like the screenwriter quite a bit. I’d heard more than a few conflicting opinions on the movie. Some folks I talked to genuinely enjoyed the movie. They thought it was a good, modern flick. Other’s hated it. Not just like, a little. I’m talking really hated it. So, I guess it was just my turn to form my own opinion.
The story follows a couple of generically disaffected youth who try their damndest to be invisible. One is the reckless, out-for-kicks, wild man. The other, a brooding, quiet-type-but-still-a-heart throb fella-like I said, generic. JT and Ricky decide to ditch school one afternoon and drink some beers. What more appropriate place to drink than an abandoned mental hospital? Right. As the 2 teens saunter about, rebelling and breaking things, their wandering sees them stumbling upon a perfectly hot naked chick who may or may not be, dead. Of course, this discovery leaves them with only one option, which is sex…ahem. While young Ricky doesn’t want to partake in such a vile thing, JT is viewing this girl as an opportunity to get regular ass. See, Ricky’s got his eyes set on a girl he should’ve pinned down in middle school, but his rebellious nature would’ve never let him break social norms. Unfortunately, she’s coupled up with the school’s super stud jock!!! What’s a long-haired rebel to do? As time goes on, it becomes obvious that JT’s obsession with our not-quite-dead young lady has become unhealthy. Hell, he tried to kill her 3 times and it didn’t work! So, it’s probably best that he just fucks her over and over and over again while she lies bound and helpless. As the rapefest goes on, and things don’t look as if they’re going to improve, the girl shows signs of being just a little bit different than other teens. Example: aside from the ability to endure endless rape, she’s also hungry for human blood. Ricky withdraws from JT’s psychotic ways but is eternally bound by the fact that they have a very nasty secret they share. They make a big mistake by letting their boneheaded friend Wheeler join the party, but after he and Ricky get a red-ass beatdown from the school jocks, he spills the beans on their sex slave. The jock’s curiosity draws them to the sex clubhouse where shit gets bad. Some dick’s get bitten, jocks shit out their intestines…the usual. Things have to stop, in Ricky’s eyes, because now his love-from-a-distance is in danger and he needs to be the hero. And in a finale made in Ridiculous World, the absurdity peaks to an all time high.
Okay, I’m the first guy to defend extremist story lines and taboo breaking. But some stuff is just not good enough to back it’s extremity. The acting in the film is borderline- atrocious and the cliche’s are so generic, they don’t lend themselves to even being plausible. Jocks, punks, hot cheerleader-types? Come the fuck on!!! Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on the receiving end of those sort of attacks, if this movie is a way of getting back at years of torture, it could’ve been a little more creative on that front. I will give it some credit in the sense that it’s sooo smartass, it’s good for a laugh. I can see how Trent Haaga would think that this script would never have been made into a flick. It’s got some grimy stuff in it that’s not for the fainthearted. But facts are facts-this is a coming of age teen drama neatly wrapped in blood. You call this a horror film in as much as you call anything gory, horror. Still, it’s got so many elements to it that I found foolish, I can’t really take any of the heart the story may have, seriously. It was shot very boringly, the scenery is drab, and there are plot holes the size of France to drive through. For example, where the HELL did the deadgirl come from? What was wrong with her? Is she a zombie? Is she a monster?! WHAT THE HELL?!
Through all of this, I don’t entirely blame the script. I would guess that the directors took some poetic license with the story. And I would guess that the actors are only working with the direction they are given. But still, over time this movie goes from blah to completely unbelievable, with very little explanation in between. I really am disappointed mostly in the fact that I usually really like Trent Haaga’s writing. I think that he’s got a really sharp tongue that is evident when the characters spout nasty monologues (of which there is only one, unfortunately) that can chew up the scenery around them. At then end of the day though, this isn’t the best of his writing nor what he will be remembered for. I will never make this my final opinion of his work, either. He’s written really great stuff in the past and I’m sure will continue to do so. Also, he’s been a writer/director in the past and I can’t help but wonder if it would’ve turned out differently had he been the director of Deadgirl. Maybe there would’ve been a different edge that was definitely missing because the movie we were given is sloppy, predictable, and forgettable. I doubt it’s the end of Mr. Haaga’s screenplays in other peoples’ hands, but I think I’d be more comfortable with him handling his own work.