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Deadgirl [Celluloid Hero]

 

Deadgirl (2008)

I’ve mentioned before that indie horror movies are usually on one end of the spectrum, rather than the middle.  They’re either fantastic because they have the freedom to do whatever they want without worrying about the big-time Hollywood production companies saying “no, that’s too far” and trying to censor them; on the flip, sometimes the reason the big-time companies don’t latch on to them is simply because they aren’t that good.  “Dead Girl” manages to balance a story that is too extreme for Hollywood with a cast that isn’t good enough for the mainstream.

Two high school burnouts decide to skip school one day, and investigate an abandoned hospital. I’m friends with some “urban explorers” and I’ve done a few things similar to this, so I can say the depiction is fairly inaccurate. Most urban explorers are respectful and try to leave things the way they found them, but these guys just get drunk and smash whatever they want. The buzz gives them the courage to explore deeper into the bowels of the building.

The manage to bust through a door that was sealed shut, and make the strangest discovery of all: a girl. They find the body, chained to a table, with a plastic sheet over her. That would be weird enough, but things get upped when they realize she’s still alive.

The movie could have gone into some supernatural zone at this point, but the directors instead chose to just go for disturbing. I’m pretty desensitized to violence and gore and gross-out moments, but there were parts of this that just completely threw me off. Blood, pus, oozing wounds, rotting flesh, a terrible bathroom moment, and much more just kept me queasy the whole time.

The biggest drawback was the acting. The two high school kids each appeared to be about 30, and neither seemed to be doing anything beyond reading a script aloud.  The other problem was the actions of the characters. Obviously if they found a body, then immediately went and reported it to the police, there would be no movie.  Still, finding a living corpse in a basement and deciding to “keep” it for yourself was just so beyond my ability to comprehend, it pushed the movie from “disturbing horror” into “absurd gross-out”.

One redeeming aspect was an ending that actually took me by surprise. It was setting up for what I thought would be an eye-rolling Hollywood ending, but the last few scenes really caught me off guard.

 

 

On the [Celluloid Hero] scale, “Deadgirl” gets a 4 out of 10.

 

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