Twitter Reviews

10/28/07

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I was all ready to tear this horror film apart. The script is sloppy, much of the acting is laughable, the editing was strange; I simply never connected with the film. But then I watched the "making of" and saw how excited the filmmakers were about the film, how wonderful they thought it was, how much love and hard work they put into it. When you're on the other side of the screen, you forget or don't realize how much work really goes into making a film. You're constantly making comprimises that take you further away from the original vision of the film; this is especially true for low budget films.

So I'm sorry to the makers of
All Souls Day that I just couldn't get into this film. It's a fairly original set-up, I hadn't seen the Mexican holiday of Day of the Dead used in a horror film before. And as an excuse for it to bring zombie's back, it's a wonderful idea. For the most part the zombies were the highlight of the film, the make-up was very good, and there were some very cool looking ones that really stood out. But they pulled that editing trick, that I hate in these films, where the zombies are getting fairly close to the characters in one shot, then in the next shot they're really far away again. I know this might not have been intentional, maybe just bad planning, but when you're viewing it's a cheap trick that keeps the characters out of peril for longer periods of time.

I never connected with any of the characters. The main guy played by Eurotrip's Travis Wester is somewhat funny, definitely the most entertaining, but often is just plain annoying. None of his friends come off as real people, just stereotypes from other films of this type. Keith David has some fun in his brief role as an evil sheriff, he really hams it up with his monologue. Danny Trejo is decent when he has directors that know how to use him, but here he's given too much to do, and you can see him struggling with it. And the characters are constantly doing things that you wouldn't do in these kinds of situations; i.e. putting themselves in unnecessary danger.

And it may have just been me, but the film felt oddly disconnected. It might have been that they tried to cram too many stories into the short running time. The film takes places in three different time periods; 1800's old west, a 1950's story that connects with the modern day, which is the best section of the film; most of the film takes place in modern day. Even though the modern day section takes place all in one day, there seems like there are weird slips in time. The skipped hours, really seem missed for some reason. I can't really explain, it didn't flow like a normal film. (Maybe I'm being hyper-critical, but this is something that hardly ever bugs me, especially in professionally made films.)

The filmmakers show some promise; the make-up was excellent, the photography was nice, and they seemed to get a good value for their budget. I think with a better script they could turn out something worth while. Director Jeremy Kastan's latest film
The Wizard of Gore looks worth checking out, at least for Crispin Glover, but I get that same feeling of mis-connection from the trailer.


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