Damned by Dawn is a 2010 independent horror film directed by Brett Anstey and tells the story, I think, of a banshee who is trying to damn a family. I think. The details got lost in all of the fog being blown around for the last hour and a half.
To be fair, the movie actually started off fairly well. If you're an Evil Dead fan, you'll recognize immediately a similar film style utilized here, but only at an environmental angle. The moving ground shots through hazy nighttime forest, etc. It's a nod in the right direction, so I feel I owe Anstey some recognition for that. He also did a decent job of spooking me. Every so often a form will move silently through the background and it's startling. Well, the first ten times it was, I should say. He must have known it was working because he kept doing it and doing it and doing it, and...
...THIS is where I start stomping on his effort.
The film went nowhere. It gained a little momentum in the beginning, but quickly began bleating one note and stayed that way through its entirety. Keeping my hand away from the fast-forward button on my remote because I promised myself I'd not review the movie unless I'd seen the whole thing was exhausting.
The banshee got on my nerves right away. The screaming was obnoxious. I know that's what banshees DO, but it drove me nuts.
The main actress wasn't very good. At all. She basically spends the whole movie going from panicky to wide-eyed and back to panicky, rinse and repeat. At one point in the movie, she's on a balcony looking down and her eyes are huge. Cut to a different scene, then back to the balcony and she's looking down again with an almost identical face. She just kept doing that.
Weakest zombies ever. One undead guy walks into the house, gets their attention, dumps his guts on the floor, then starts flaccidly punching at them. When he connects, they act as if they've been hit by a Thor's hammer, but there's no way. NO way. If anything, this movie gave me hope that when zombies finally do start perusing my populace, they'll be walking daffodils like the creatures in this little ditty.
The music was sporadic and poorly placed. Multiple genres fluttered around carelessly until the end scene when one of the worst songs I've heard brings the whole house crashing down around me.
I don't know what else to say. I wanted to like the movie, but I just could not. At one point I even tried to get excited about a tear in the father's cheek because it reminded me of similar wound handed to Lionel's mother in Dead Alive, but then I realized that while watching one movie, I was fantasizing about another, and that's a disappointing thing to happen to a guy.
Unless you're the type of person that's trying to watch every movie with, "Dawn" in it, I'd avoid this film, and I'd avoid this film really hard.
- t -