I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD REVIEW
Starring: Aiden Devine, Ava Preston, and Jess Salgueiro
Directed By: Chad Archibald
Runtime: 1 hour 25 minutes
The term “straight-to-DVD” has a bad connotation. In the 90s the term meant a movie that was hastily put together and dropped in the video store in hopes that people would rent it. In today’s big budget, “everything has to stem from some existing IP” world a movie like I’ll Take Your Dead just doesn’t get funded. But it should. There’s a place for this movie and I hope it finds an audience even though it is a “straight-to-DVD” or VOD movie.
I’ll Take Your Dead tells the story of William. He lives on a farm, secluded, not really near anything. His job is to dispose of dead bodies.Inner city gangs drop the bodies off, he gets rid of them, no questions asked. One day he’s gifted a body that isn’t quite dead yet.The rest of the movie follows William and how he handles the situation. Complicated by the presence of his pre-teen daughter, Gloria, living in the same home.
The film is distributed by Shout! Studios, an offshoot of Shout! Factory DVDs who specialize in remastering old horror movies. So you might take that bit of info, along with the title, the plot, and the poster and think I’ll Take Your Dead is a straight-up horror movie. You’d be mistaken. The movie is positioned more as a crime thriller than a gorefest. There’s a good amount of story and character development here, not very many scares. Some people are going to love that, others will hate it, so it’s important to know what you’re getting going in. I was surprised at the elevated nature of the final product.
I found I’ll Take Your Dead to be an interesting premise, the story follows a logical progression (you’d be surprised how many movies don’t), I just wanted more. The movie starts right away. Which isn’t all bad, you get a nice bit of momentum to start the story. I would have liked to have seen how the process works when it goes right. We never get to see a body dumped off and disposed of without incident. A couple extra scenes could have helped immensely. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s also a weird supernatural subplot that is never explained properly. It makes for a nice ending, but I never found any rhyme or reason to it.
I’ll Take Your Dead is well acted, and I’ll admit it, I was shocked at how well made the movie was. Nothing looks cheap or hokey. I’m sure the budget was miniscule, but it never looks or feels low budget. Ava Preston is a revelation playing Gloria, the daughter.Plays the role perfectly, and is completely believable throughout. The dead body that isn’t quite dead is Jackie. Played by Jess Salgueiro. It might be the meatiest part in the movie. She gets to play a number of different emotions. She does them all really well. The movie makes for some real suspenseful moments.
In today’s streaming world, anything can find an audience with the right marketing. Make the cover look good, get out in front of people and you can win.I hope this movie finds an audience. I’d be interested to see what horror fans think of this. Because it isn’t consistently violent, there’s not a ton of jump scares. I’ll Take Your Dead is very much a human drama, wrapped in a crime thriller, wrapped in a horror movie. In other words, it’s a well told story that lives in a violent world. There’s a subtle difference between the two. Sometimes horror fans appreciate a good story and other times they just want a high body count. What we’re given here feels new, it feels different/fresh, and that’s always going to divide people.
On a scale of "See It/Stream It/Skip It" – it’s worth a watch if you’re a fan of the genre. I'll Take Your Dead will see a short theatrical release while also being available on Video On Demand this Friday (May 3rd, 2019)
If you liked Don’t Breathe, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Panic Room you might like I’ll Take Your Dead
2.5 out of 5 stars for I’ll Take Your Dead.Not what I expected, but that’s not always a bad thing.