Post-graduation, a group of high school friends meet up at one of the guys’ father’s cabin in the woods. There they hang out, drink, argue, and play a game called Dead Body. As they start dying off one by one, they must figure out who is the real killer and try to survive. Directed by Bobbin Ramsey and written by Ian Bell and Ramon Isao, the film boasts nine teenage characters that are all fairly generic stereotypes of teenagers and how they should act. What makes the film interesting is not as much who they are or how they act but the whodunit angle to the story. Of course red herrings and false red herrings are thrown left and right from the beginning.
The characters are a bit thin, but they are still watchable. The action is fairly interesting, nothing groundbreaking but it was an easy watch that kept the attention throughout. The cast of nine actors is decent at what they do, with no one really coming across as a star, but the leads of Rachel Brun as Ilsa, Jay Myers as Dominic, and Spencer Hamp as Marcus are the ones that do the best with their typical teenager parts. They work as best they can with their parts and make the most of their scenes. Brun gets possibly the most to work with and she shows potential throughout. Her part has the most emotional connection with the viewers, partially due to her acting and the writing.
The rest of the cast feel a bit disposable from the start, with their performances not getting as much screen time as would be needed to make the viewers care. The film does look good in the dark and the in brighter scenes, with cinematography by Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein. The film makes great use of the cabin it takes place in and the game of Dead Body allows them to show more of the cabin and the surrounding areas. The cabin is a good location and offered plenty of spaces for them to explore and work with.
Considering the high number of dead bodies, the effects are fairly minimal as this is not a gross out horror film but more of a thriller with some blood. The special effects by Shane Saucedo and the visual effects by Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein are good when they are there. The blood looks right and the few wounds look like they should, with just the right amount of blood when needed.
Dead Body is a teenager whodunit, more of a thriller than a horror movie, with teens that are a bit thin but easy to follow through their attempts to survive and figure out whom wants them all dead. The film is an easy watch and decently entertaining. It does not break any new grounds, but it’s not tedious and should find an audience among the more casual horror fans.
Philadelphia Unnamed Film Festival had its first edition on October 6th through October 9th, 2016.