Hello everyone Kevin with Film Fervor bringing you the second movie review in a long list to come. Today we are going across the pond and reviewing Nick Box’s ultra low budget British film She’s Dead, a dark horror comedy staring Alexander Lewis, Julian Seager, Jamie Smith and Serena Chloe Gardner in the title roll of She. As always I will go over the plot of the film while avoiding major spoilers so that our readers can enjoy the film if they so choose.
The film opens with a very dry voice over telling an old joke about a horrible night out and it’s consequences which sets the tone for what is to come. Ben (Alexander Lewis) wakens from a drunken night our to find the girl he took home dead in bed beside him, panicked he quickly covers his room in plastic tarps and attempts to cut the girl’s body into pieces which he fails miserably at as he doesn’t have the proper tools. Ben then calls in a professional “Cleaner” to help him as his parents will be home in an hour. Mr. Clean (Julian Seager) gives Ben his ground rules and delivers perhaps the funniest lines of all the characters in the film. To complicate matters Ben’s very over the top and obnoxious best friend comes over to help Ben as he had called him before Mister Clean and proceeds to “cock up” Mister Clean’s plans. The Film’s ending is surprising and macabre that left me feeling glad I gave the film a chance as up until that point it hadn’t quite lived up to it’s reputation.
The film is shot on a Micro budget of eight hundred pounds and is filmed entirely in one room with one camera. The camera work is sub par in my opinion as nearly all of the action is out of shot and you can sometimes only see the tops of the actor’s heads on a brief glimpse of their profile all of which jars you out of the story. When the characters are in focus the camera focuses on one thing to long before moving on and rarely is directed at the speaker in any given scene. Normally this wouldn’t be a major issue except that the Microphone on the camera only picks up the actors well when they are speaking directly at it.
The Musical score is composed by Chan Walrus and Jaime Smith both of whom have many credits in the Independent Film community as composers. The score itself is mostly electronic synth and adds an interesting pace to an otherwise very subdued and slow movie. I myself found the choice of music to be jarring to the setting instead of adding to the sense of time running out or the grimness of the situation.
While there is little special effects down in the movie on such a tight budget what they had was fairly well done save for a very unconvincing “Squick” at the beginning of the film. The Blood effects were well done later in the film and not over the top as many low budget films use to try to compensate for lack of quality with quantity.
The acting itself is quite good from two of the four actors in the film, those being from Prolific actor Julian Seager and less well known Alexander Lewis. Both of these characters are believable in their rolls and deliver the dead pan British humor one might expect from a Dark Comedy. They play wonderfully off each other but the whole film is marred by the introduction of Jaime Smith as Barry. Barry is an over the top character who tries way to hard to be funny and comes off more as annoying and completely unbelievable who we are forced to accept as a crazy and wacky friend of Ben’s. His lines are delivered flat and without and life behind them which is unfortunate as most of the film’s humor relies on Barry’s parts as he has more screen time than Ben or Mister Clean.
While She’s Dead has many issues that can rip you from the experience you can write them off to the film’s extremely low budget. The Acting of Julian Seager and Alexander Lewis and the surprise twist ending more than make up for the technical faults with the film. If you like dry British humor with the occasional bit of over the top crudity this film is worth at least a once through. For story line I give it a four out of five(Would have been Five but Barry brings it down a notch), Video Quality two out of five, and sound quality a two out of five.
(Update: We had a few facts wrong, which have been updated. Also, we forgot to add the link back to the production house- Dead Good Films)