Genre: Horror, Thriller
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 23m
Director(s): Francesco Picone
Writer(s): Francesco Picone
Cast: Jennifer Mischiati, Christoph Hülsen, Douglas Dean, Seán James Sutton, Michael Segal
Where To Watch: UK digital premiere March 20, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: Prepare to be visited by the DEAD BRIDE as the film takes centerstage before its UK digital premiere. This tale is brought to life by Italian writer-director Francesco Picone. While it may not be the most groundbreaking horror film, it offers enough chilling atmosphere to keep some casual moviegoers and horror fans engaged.
The story follows a woman named Alyson, played by Jennifer Mischiati, who inherits her childhood home after her estranged father's death. Due to her mother's mental collapse, she was given up for adoption. Hoping for a fresh start, she moves into the eerie mansion with her husband Richard, played by Christoph Hülsen, and their baby. Their dreams of a peaceful life are shattered when the husband leaves for work, and spine-chilling events start to unfold.
As Alyson’s story begins, the mansion's secrets start to unfold, and she uncovers a horrifying family history that endangers her loved ones. Faced with sinister forces, she must now find a way to shield her family from impending doom. DEAD BRIDE's narrative structure weaves flashbacks and hints throughout the film, encouraging viewers to solve a puzzle.
The film's visuals and makeup work pay tribute to classic horror cinema. However, the acting could have been more consistent across the entire cast. It borrows inspiration from horror classics; the editing, sound design, and overall ambiance contribute to the chilling atmosphere. Although some story elements are predictable, the climax offers a visually striking and thrilling resolution, arguably one of my favorite horror endings in recent memory.
DEAD BRIDE displays remarkable artistry, especially in the area of prosthetic makeup. The practical makeup gave the film an actual bump in rating from me. The film maintains a tense atmosphere, even during the appearance of demonic entities—a rare accomplishment within the genre.
As the plot progresses, DEAD BRIDE delves into the origin of the haunting that plagues the mansion and its inhabitants. The screenplay could benefit from more robust character development and continuity, particularly when navigating the interaction between the tangible and dream-like aspects of the story.
Despite these narrative challenges, DEAD BRIDE excels in visual presentation, particularly when exploring dream-like realms. Picone's camera work and ability to create striking visuals make up for some of the film's inconsistencies. Though the storyline could have been more cohesive, DEAD BRIDE retains its appeal through impressive visuals and unrelenting tension. The supernatural themes are executed in a way that keeps viewers engaged.
DEAD BRIDE is not a groundbreaking or unparalleled addition to the genre. Still, it remains a compelling horror film that appeals to genre enthusiasts. With its blend of haunting atmosphere, intriguing story, and striking visuals, it is a movie that undoubtedly deserves attention.
In conclusion, DEAD BRIDE is a visually enthralling horror experience that holds its audience's attention despite narrative shortcomings and occasional repetition. While the film may not be the genre's most innovative or groundbreaking entry, it delivers enough tension and atmosphere to satisfy horror fans.
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[photo courtesy of METROVIDEO]