Dread (2009)

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REVIEWER RATING: 
6/10


Based on a short story in Clive Barker's Books of Blood collection, Dread marks the directorial debut of producer Anthony DiBlasi, who had previously worked with other Barker adaptations such as The Midnight Meat Train and Book of Blood. I went in expecting very little from the film, and despite its many flaws it kept my interest.

The flick tells the story of a troubled philosophy student named Quaid, whose obsession with his own nightmares results in him conducting a series of experiments on fellow students about their greatest fears. Accompanied by a film student and his female friend, the three record people's reactions as they reveal their deepest and darkest fears in front of the camera, unknowingly fueling Quaid's own sadistic desires behind the experiment.

As I said above, the movie kept my interest for the most part and the performances (especially that of Shaun Evans who played Quaid) were above average. The film also offers a good amount of gore, especially towards the end when the Quaid character finally starts to lose it, which is always a plus in my book.

The real issue I had with the movie is the film student character Stephen, played by actor Jackson Rathbone -- for one, the character seems to trust Quaid a little too easily in the beginning, where-as upon barely meeting the guy, ends up going down into his basement after he offers a mysterious "proposition". Not only that, but he's basically bullied by Quaid throughout the rest of the movie, yet for some reason still chooses to associate with the guy, leaving a few logical plot-holes behind.

There are also some minor pacing issues around the mid-point that cause a few scenes to drag on. From the start of the film we know that this Quaid character will eventually lose it, it's just a matter of when and the movie definitely takes its time to getting there. Although more of an observation than a complaint, the movie has this dark hue presented throughout the pic that makes a few scenes a little darker than they should be, but at the same time, gave it an interesting and almost artsy aspect to it.

Dread is another interesting, yet flawed Clive Barker adaptation. It offers promising ideas, but also falls victim to some character issues and minor plot-holes. However, it kept me watching and delivered some good gore towards the end. Not recommended unless you're big on Barker adaptations, just don't expect a whole lot.
OVERALL: 
Dread is another interesting, yet flawed Clive Barker adaptation. It offers promising ideas, but also falls victim to some character issues and minor plot-holes. However, it kept me watching and delivered some good gore towards the end. Not recommended unless you're big on Barker adaptations, just don't expect a whole lot.