This book contains 180 horror movie reviews; five of the best releases for each year between 1980 and 2016. Each film description contains a synopsis, a list of attributed genres, seven ratings and a three-paragraph review.
One too many flashbacks, too much editing, a bad habit of not sticking with the most interesting timeline, the present; A Horrible Way to Die has a tendency to get on one’s nerves. The movie holds back for a good half hour before delivering decent exposition, and even then, we never get to know the characters. This is a simple story but it’s not all linear and that can be confusing.
Several shaky close-ups are used to hide things that aren’t there; set design and extras, for example. These shots do not convey emotions, aside dread and depression, and add nothing to the story. This is something found footage films got us used to, except that this isn’t a found footage film. While the camera is extremely contemplative, it shouldn’t shake when there is no tension.
The three main actors are very talented and they’re the first reason this film works. The second reason is the script. It is lean and realistic, yet it has its surprises. Ultimately, it’s the directing that kills it and the reason behind it may very well be financial. A Horrible Way to Die is passable and forgettable. A bigger budget wouldn’t have hurt.