Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joe Sykes, Rachel Frawley, Alice Lewis, Lynn Lowry, John Schmedes, Dane Bingenheimer, Kelly O'Neal, Stephanie Wilkinson
Written by: Bret Wood
Directed by: Bret Wood
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 90
Date: 08/18/2020

Those Who Deserve to Die (2020)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Veteran's Slay

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Like the recent Let the Corpses Tan and the remake of Suspiria, Bret Wood's Those Who Deserve to Die is sort of a tribute to 1960s and '70s Italian horror cinema, or Giallo. And like those other films, it manages to imitate without replicating the effects of the eerie originals (i.e. creepy music and a surreal use of colors). With the exception of a fierce, striking little girl ghost (Alice Lewis) and a supporting role by cult favorite Lynn Lowry (The Crazies, Score, Shivers, etc.), the movie relies on some rather flat characters, and it's easy to find yourself feeling a bit detached. Jonathan Wyndham (Joe Sykes) plays a veteran who was the only member of his unit to survive an assault. He arrives in a small town and takes a room with kindly, but meddling Clement Greene (John Schmedes). Clement immediately tries to set up Jonathan with Margaret (Rachel Frawley), who is the daughter of the local judge (Lowry). Meanwhile, brutal murders are taking place. It's supposedly based on a novella by Thomas de Quincey (Confessions of an English Opium-Eater).

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