Review: The Deaths of Ian Stone

Driving home after a hockey game, poor Ian gets attacked by a monster. There is a fight and, much like the hockey game, he looses. But in this case, losing means getting thrown onto the tracks in front of an oncomming train. One flash of light later, Ian wakes up in an office building, where he’s apparently been sleeping on the job. Fast forward past the domestic drama of his boring life, and the monster shows up again. Oh, and it has friends. They want very much to kill him, and when they succeed-

Ian wakes up in another life. With monsters chasing him. Again.

There’s obviously more to the movie than my slightly sarcastic synopsis, but I can’t actually tell you any of it without spoiling the story. But, rest assured, there IS a story and, for once, it’s a pretty good one.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Dark Icon actually liked a movie. Liked it a lot, in fact.

The plot starts out with Ian (and the viewers) trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. The monsters are very well done in terms of special effects and general menace. When you see one out of the corner of your eye (as you do quite often) you know there’s some evil shit about to go down. And the creatures have some surprises OTHER than just popping up out of nowhere, too. But as it moves forward, the story becomes less about solving the mystery and more about enjoying the fights and effects. Hell, they flat-out TELL you exactly what’s going on well before the movie ends, and after that point the film transforms into something much less sinister and more action-oriented. At the climax it is very much an action movie, and the same monsters which were scary when confined to the shadows are now out in the open and getting their asses kicked left, right and sideways. I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing… I guess it depends on what you were expecting to see. I’m all about action and evil getting its ass kicked, but I think the action in this movie was under-done, and would have been more effective if they’d let the monsters stay mysterious just a little while longer before shining the burning light of ass-kickery on them.

Other than THAT, however, the movie was great. It had a sort-of original concept* and the characters weren’t complete idiots… this automatically makes it better than 70% of the movies I’ve seen so far this year. It isn’t a GREAT film… it’s no “Mist” or “Cloverfield”… but I was surprised at how good it was.

*I say “sort-of” original because I’ve seen this concept (which I can’t describe without spoiling it) in a couple of other movies. But its still relatively fresh ground considering how tired the typical cliches have become recently. It’s not brand new, but its new enough.

So:

+10: Great story
+8: Good FX (if a bit over-used in places).
+7: Characters that fight back!
+1: “What’s the matter? Ya scared?” You’ll understand when you see it, but it made me laugh.

But:

-7: They replace horror with action and end up diluting both.
-6: We actually see TOO MUCH of the monsters. The “coolness factor” fades quickly with exposure.
-5 Love conquers all. Meh.

I recommend this one. Rent it and enjoy it. I would have probably enjoyed it a bit more if the makers had chosen horror or action and stuck with one or the other. Some movies can pull off both very well. This one stumbles a bit when it transitions from “OMGWTF!?” to “DIE-MONSTER-DIE!”.


2 Comments

  1. WeREwOLf, April 28, 2008:

    Just got done watching it. Between this review and all the others I’ve read online, I’m apparently the odd man out. I didn’t think it stumbled so much in the ‘transition’ from horror to action, and enjoyed it thoroughly throughout. Definite thumbs-up.

    And yeah, that final scene — instant classic!

  2. DarkIcon, April 28, 2008:

    Well, I DID say I liked it. Surprisingly good considering the state of horror movies these days.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.