Bed of the Dead (2016) [Fantasia International Film Festival 2016]

bedofthedeadTwo couples in their twenties book a room with a particularly big bed at a sex club, to explore some options for one of the guys’ birthday.  Once on the bed, it becomes clear that supernatural forces are at play as they start hallucinating and being picked off one by one.  A cop investigating the aftermath discovers more than he expected and is pulled into the situation deeper than he planned.

Director Jeff Maher co-wrote with Cody Calahan and together they create an effective story about a bed imbued with supernatural powers.  A story basis that could have been goofy, ridiculous, or flat out silly turns into a story of regrets, sorrow, and redemption dripping with lots of blood.  The characters they bring to the screen are not super developed but in the case of the leads, there is more to them then first meets the eye.  Their time spent on the bed shows their true colors and builds them up to be imperfect characters that the viewers can care about and will want to see where it all goes for them.  The way the film is built, without giving any of it away, between the people on the bed and the cop investigating what happened works really well without falling into too many clichés or becoming cheesy.

The cop is played by Colin Price who gives a good conflicted performance, showing the cop’s want to redeem something from his past.  His portrayal shows the right amount of emotions while working to understand what is going on in the room, on that bed.  In the parts of the two couples renting the room are Alysa King as Sandy, Dennis Andres as Ren, Gwenlyn Cumyn as Nancy, and George Krissa as Fred.  Alysa King and Gwenlyn Cumyn catch the attention in particular with King giving the most grabbing performances.  No one in the cast is off note; everyone gives a good to very good performance.

These performances are supported by strong special effects with some truly great set-pieces by Sara Feehan, Carlos Henriques, Shaun Hunter, and Monica Pavez.  The film is nicely bloody, with one scene particularly so.  Also supporting all of this is the cinematography by Micha Dahan who frames every shot beautifully.  “Bed of the Dead” was shot on RED and absolutely shows it, everything is crispy clear and details, even in dark scenes, are easily seen.  This brings back to the special effects which, when shot this way, need to be excellent to avoid showing defects to the viewers.

“Bed of the Dead” is a fun horror film with deeper themes than most basic paranormal horror films.  It could easily have gone the way of “Deathbed: The Bed That Eats,” but it’s much better and very well executed.  It’s a beautiful looking, well-acted film with good writing and good effects.

Fantasia International Film Festival ran from July 14th until August 3rd, 2016 and will be back in the summer of 2017.