Monday 20 July 2009

Dead in 3 Days

Okay, so maybe my judgment was already impaired when I sat down to watch this movie, and maybe I did polish off that bottle over the course of the film, but I stand by my claim that Dead in 3 Days isn't terrible.

Nina and friends have just graduated high school and are getting ready to party. Amidst their preparations, each one receives a text stating they will die in three days' time. Nobody thinks anything of it until Martin disappears from the party. Because they've all just passed high school and aren't stupid, the kids take their concerns to the police but are promptly shown the door. Only after Martin turns up dead do the police start taking the threats seriously.

There's nothing particularly original about the story--it's just a German version of I Know What You Did Last Summer crossed with Scream 2, Friday the 13th, One Missed Call, and Charlie's Angels. But because it's German, it doesn't waste any time and holds together. Also, the script is possessed of a few surprises that break with standard, mainstream expectations.

The film is light on violence and gore, but the deaths are still pretty awful. Interestingly, the final standoff between victims and killer causes us to pause and think about what we would do in a similar situation. Granted, this moralizing is foreshadowed early in the film, but it was kind of nice to see regular human characters act like regular, non-homicidal, people.

The one thing I can't decide on is weather I would have preferred to know the backstory from the beginning of the movie. As it is, there is an extremely awkward scene about 3/4 of the way through in which, after being questioned by the police, the friends remember how they once killed someone. To the film's credit, the friends do recount this event to the cops, saving us the agonizing process of having to watch a bunch of self-involved assholes get offed because they're too stupid to seek help.

Instead, we're watching a bunch of self-involved assholes get offed because the cops are too stupid to provide any help at all.

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