LONG TIME DEAD
While at a warehouse party one night, a group of young friends decide to dabble with a Ouija board. Fun turns to terror as the board spells out the message ‘All Die’ and the group's members start dying in grisly fashion. It appears that an Arabic demon known as a Djinn has been revived and is linked to one of the group, who has to confront private family demons in the course of evading death by Djinn. Nothing, it seems, can stop it claiming the lives of everyone responsible for its escape into the mortal world.
Review by Richard Kuipers:
As his circle of friends keeps getting smaller one of the characters in Long Time Dead says 'I'm telling you, this is f***ed'. Maybe he was reading the minds of the audience. What's happened to the horror genre? When a modest effort like Nine Gates seems like a masterpiece there's something rotten in the state of fright film. This one's in trouble from the outset as we're supposed to believe that a bunch of groovy twenty-somethings would suddenly decide, in the middle of what looks like a pretty good warehouse party, to whip up a home-made Ouija board. Didn't everyone pass their Ouija board phase when they were about 14? Not this lot who then go wandering off alone to be killed just like every other dumb kid in every other dumb slasher film victim. There are some decent ideas here but none are properly explored. The ability of the demon to possess hosts is only hinted at in the final reel. Had this been established up front it would have added a real level of suspense as we wondered which of the group was hosting the Djinn. The same applies to a back story set in Morocco and the connection of a weirdo landlord played by Tom Bell who shuffles around like a British Freddy Kreuger under the clause that says no horror pic is complete without the services of a distinguished veteran. With the exception of American import Lukas Haas and The War Zone star Lara Belmont, the young cast are forgettable but to be fair no-one's given much of a chance by a cliched script and the direction of music video graduate Marcus Adams who is obsessed with wholesale carnage and not much more. It's hard to see this performing at the box-office but distributors can expect good video rental business. As disappointing as it is, this will play more satisfactorily on a Friday night at home with pizza and beer accompaniment.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
I like this much more than Richard, and while I agree with a few of his criticisms (eg the idea of someone in the group being possessed left too late), I think this is a cut above the standard comparable US fare in this genre. There is the cast, for starters: unlike the conveyor belt genre pics from California, the youngsters in this film are real. They look real (no dental jobs) and they speak real – in a mix of English accents as you might find in life. Next, they’ve got character; they are not simply Blonde A with boobs, TDH Man (tall, dark, handsome), etc. And thirdly, the film is made with a stylish sensibility, practiced no doubt on music clips, and all the better for it, especially as the target market is the same as director Marcus Adams is used to working for. Sound – as well as music – is used to maximum effect, so much so that young couple sitting close together will have ample opportunities to tighten the grip on each other’s hands, knees, etc. The scares are well paced and there are only a couple of cheat scares; the rest are for real. I think Long Time Dead is fright-full good.
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LONG TIME DEAD (MA)
CAST: Joe Absolom, Lara Belmont, Melanie Gutteridge, Lukas Haas, James Hillier, Alec Newman, Marsha Thomason, Tom Bell, Michael Feast
PRODUCER: James Gay-Rees
DIRECTOR: Marcus Adams
SCRIPT: Eitan Arrusi, Chris Baker, Daniel Bronzite, Andy Day (story Marcus Adams, Daniel Bronzite, James Gay-Rees
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Nic Morris
EDITOR: Lucia Zucchetti
MUSIC: Don Davis
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Alison Riva
RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 5, 2002
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures Video
VIDEO RELEASE: January 8, 2003