January 13, 2013

Filthy Review - 'I Didn't Come Here to Die'

I Didn’t Come Here to Die (2010)

Review by Jude Felton

We’ll get this out of the way right now; I don’t like the artwork for this DVD release, not one bit. There’s a good reason for it, well there’s a couple really, with the first being that I think we have all seen this girl before. In the same pose no less. It happened with last years’ Absentia, with the artwork being used on both sides of the Atlantic no less, which really dumbed down the first impression of the film, and she’s popped up on several other pieces of movie artwork of late; let her die already, poor lass. The second reason being is that it just does not do this gem of a movie any justice.

The film opens with a sheriff surveying a scene of absolute carnage; there are bodies everywhere. It’s a dizzying scene, with the camera swaying and shuddering as our law enforcement officer finds things to be just a little creepy.

The action then switches to the main focus of the film, which is a group of volunteers who are heading out in the woods to work on setting up a new campsite. So far, so horror, but don’t let this fall you, as after a fairly sedate opening half hour or so the bodies start piling up and the blood does indeed begin to flow.

Don’t read the back of the DVD case for this movie, and don’t read anything that could spoil the plot of the film, or give away anything. Go in cold, as I did, and brace yourself for a smart, witty and very gruesome horror yarn. I was expecting one thing and got a whole side order of ‘what the hell!’ a refreshing change for sure.

I Didn’t Come Here to Die is a seemingly low budget affair, but one in which director Bradley Scott Sullivan has utilized everything to full effect. From the visual style, with it slightly muted and old school palette, to the gruesome effects and a solid looking cast. There’s the odd slice of dialogue here and there that one of the characters seemed to spit out, rather than let it flow, but all in all they all do an admirable job.

This is one of those very few occasions where I would like to reveal a bit more about the plot, because I thought it was that good. Suffice to say that it was simple, but incredibly well executed, and never outstays its welcome. Get in, do your damage and leave, before anyone knows you were there, with the film clocking in at just under 80 minutes. There was no filler here, aside from the previously mentioned pedestrian opening 30 minutes, but all that achieved was setting the scene for the ensuing carnage.

Visually I was impressed with the film, and the accompanying soundtrack fit the bill perfectly; it was never intrusive, and some cool sound design helped blend it in nicely. The special effects were also top-notch, with one particular scene being especially brutal and tough to watch without squirming. I’ll leave that little beauty for you to find though.

With an ever increasing amount of independent horror films flooding the market, it has become increasing easy to separate the good from the atrocious (there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground) and this falls squarely into the former. Sullivan obviously has the talent for telling a good tale and transferring it onto the screen. I’ll be keeping a lookout for more of his work in the future. 

In the meantime, grab a beer or two and sit back and enjoy I Didn’t Come Here to Die; it’s good and gruesome, with just the right amount of sick and twisted humor. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this, but ended up having a good old time with it.

I Didn't Come Here to Die is released on DVD and VOD by Level 33 Entertainment on January 15th.

1 comment:

Maynard Morrissey said...

I had the "pleasure" of seeing it on the big screen. Didn't impress me at all, aside from some badass gore.