Shudder doesn’t consistently deliver highly entertaining content for horror fans. Like any platform, it’s “hit and miss” with premium content easily worth box office elevation that you come across once in a blue moon. And then there’s well, everything else. Dead and Beautiful sits somewhere firmly in the middle; it’s neither wholly terrible nor “white knuckle” top-notch horror.
The gist of the story focuses on five 20-somethings (Lulu, Anastasia, Mason, Bin-Ray and Alexander) who are all filthy rich with no other life goals but to entertain themselves in any way possible. Each member of their elite group of friends gets to choose what comes next – the more thrilling, the better. So they’re all trying to outdo each other. There’s a lot of room for the story to expand from here, but it doesn’t get any better as time progresses.
The setting for the movie is in Taipei, so the film has subtitles which is fine. What’s less bearable is when the primary characters cut in and out of speaking Chinese and English. Two group members seem to be European, so it’s an exciting mix of culture, but it’s a little weird when the language chops and changes throughout the film. I like my dialogue to flow as evenly between characters as possible. It’s a lot less enjoyable when you have to concentrate harder on what’s getting left out of the translation.
Anastasia (played by Anna Marchenko) chooses the next event, and she leads the group into the wilderness, where they meet a mysterious older man. A small ritual takes place involving blood. The following day, everyone in the group wakes up with “vampire” teeth and a hazy recollection of what happened. At this point, you could already be feeling less interested in the plight of our rich brats, but I’m a completionist. Each member of the group goes through their separate turmoil after the night in the jungle.
The relationships in the group begin to change. The plot seems to be without any direction in some scenes. It’s also next to impossible to figure out who is loyal to who. This leads the group into chaos. It is, however, interesting to watch how each member deals with their newfound vampire status. Checking to see if the sun burns their skin is an absolute must.
We won’t spoil the twist, and it’s a pretty good twist and well worth watching until the end. But it’s not enough to bring this disappointing film out of mediocrity.
Originally reviewed for Keithlovesmovies.
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.