Long Time Dead (2002)

LongTimeDead1After a night of partying a group of friends decide to play with a Ouija board, maybe the CD player was broken, who knows? But once they begin playing, they accidentally unleash a mysterious demonic entity who is now stuck in our reality after someone breaks the link. Now, it’s up to the group to discover who out of them all is possessed by the demonic force before each and everyone in the group keeps being killed off. I said it once before, and I’ll say it again: Foreigners make the best horror films, now before you start calling me anti-American and begin dumping your French wine down your toilet, hear me out. Foreigners are rarely ever people who buy into hype and rely solely on something that Hollywood lost years ago… what’s that called? Ah, originality.

Ever since the Janet Jackson booby incident, it’s hard to get anything past censors these days, especially the tyrants known as the MPAA. Foreign horror films don’t have boundaries or restrictions (see “Cannibal Holocaust” or anything from D’ario Argento), they have no sense of censorship nor do they have lines they won’t cross. True, most of the killings in the film are off-screen, regardless though, this film shocks when it wants to, and there’s plenty of atmosphere to share in this. I found myself interested and quite nervous during many of the scenes including the groovy scene in the bathroom stall, and the very tense scene where the guy is hiding behind a screen door and the demon looks back at him, truly kick-ass. The film leaks atmosphere from the pits of the story, something that’s not often shown in modern horror films, and I dug the atmosphere this displayed, the genuine atmosphere that kept me watching all the way through until the end. The cast of characters in “Long Time Dead” go through every horror movie cliché in the book and lack anything even resembling common sense, and being an avid hardcore horror fan, I know all the clichés in the book.

There’s the character who is in a bathroom stall in a bathroom along asking who’s in the bathroom with her never assuming she might kick the door open and run for the exit screaming bloody murder. At least that’s what I’d do. Why, after experiencing a creepy incident with a Ouija board would someone go out onto a boathouse where there’s plenty of windows leaving them ripe for the picking? There’s even the cliché where a character is walking in the dark and doesn’t discover they’re walking in a pool of blood until they turn on the lights and suddenly lose their footing and begin slipping. Have you ever walked in a pool of anything before? I have a cat and one night while walking through the hall of my house it only took me three seconds to realize I was walking in a pool of my cat’s urine and I didn’t need to put on my hallway light to know it. It took me three minutes to blurt out a series of expletives since I soiled my new sneakers, but that’s a whole other story.

“Long Time Dead” has it in all the right places but the “it’s” are so predictable and cliché, I couldn’t turn my head away. See that? I rhymed. Try that on for size. Anyways, “Long Time Dead” is tension filled and since them foreigners know how to make top shelf horror flicks, I decided to give this a chance. I loved “28 Days Later”, I loved “Cut”, and I loved a lot of stuff from Argento an Italian horror master director who made even Hitchcock cringe. This film is fun because you can play spot the cliché. There’s the old formula of crowd of teens finds satanic memorabilia, decide to have a rip and accidentally evoke a satanic entity from the pits of hell. Don’t you hate when that happens? I can’t tell you how many times I evoked a satanic entity out of fun, and it’s not a joy, I tell you. Those demonic entities will talk your ear off and eventually you’ll just want to off yourself. There’s the scenes where a character hides under a bed when there’s a perfectly good window looking out onto a conveniently placed police car, and then there’s the bodies strewn about sadistically ala “Halloween”, there’s even the whodunit plot where you have to guess if the killer is just one of the college goers with a knack for serial killing or if its really a satanic entity, you might be surprised, because I sure as hell wasn’t.

There’s the famous “hide and seek, here one minute gone the next” game with the killer and the victim ala “Friday the 13th”, and then there’s the final showdown in which the culprit talks a lot explaining why they’re there in the first place. As many horror films lack, this lacks in character development and clearly all they’re all disposable broadly developed faces to be offed by the culprit with a mission, we never get to know these characters and they die within minutes. Speaking of the climax, did that story with the father and the satanic ritual ever make a lot of sense? I found myself curious and confused to the broadly thinly developed plotline involving the main character’s father and a satanic ritual, whatever. If it’s so important to the plot, why not develop it more and flesh it out to make the audience get involved? As always there’s the ending left with the question mark which will most likely spawn a sequel. It’s cliché, it’s predictable and nothing new, but hell it’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s creepy. There’s atmosphere and tension galore and even a few jumps, plot twists, and surprises. I said it once and I’ll say it again: Hot dang them foreigners make the best horror flicks don’t they?