Dimension Films // 2006 // 93 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 13th, 2009
Your time is running out.
The latest to be released under the Dimension Extreme banner is a German thriller about young, attractive friends getting systematically butchered.
Hmmm, I pretty much encapsulated the gist of this film with the above statement, but let keep burning through this bandwidth, shall we? After their graduation, a set of friends decide to celebrate the only way they know how: dancing by themselves and drinking! And, yes, some topless making-out.
If only all this tomfoolery would last. No, it's not long before movie's Psycho Killer begins doing his thing, right after sending text messages which promise they'll be dead in three days.
Not a bad premise, sending out a three-day death warning. It's a gimmick reminiscent of The Ring, but by the time the film wraps, Dead in 3 Days transforms into a German version of I Know What You Did Last Summer. Which wouldn't be too bad, but the energy level is so low and the kills so few and far between that the tension takes a major hit, resulting in a lukewarm horror experience.
You know what else? There are way too many waking-up-from-a-nightmare sequences. You think someone's getting killed and then BLAMMO! it's time to wake up in a cold sweat. After the fourth or fifth one of these, I began to surmise that the whole film was a dream, or at least took place entirely in the imagination of an autistic child.
Too bad, because when Dead in 3 Days does get around to getting its slash on, there are some good times to be had. Director Andreas Prochaska has a nice touch when creating mayhem, employing an effective combination of drawn-out sequences and vicious, punctuating jump scares. The death scenes are uneven, unfortunately. They range from hugely gruesome (one girl's intimate encounter with a fish tank is particularly unnerving) to off-camera weaksauce. The final showdown with the slasher is a disappointment.
Tying it all together is a serviceable but forgettable mystery. The script pulls a decent feint, when it reveals the identity of the Big Bad, but the actual killer, unmasked, isn't terribly interesting. And the motivation for the murders? Anti-climactic and unveiled at the very end in a -- you guessed it -- dream sequence!
Dimension has an economy DVD release for you: a crisp 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and two 5.1 Dolby Digital tracks (German and English) and no extras except for some trailers.
Some moments in Dead in 3 Days soar, hinting at a kick-ass horror thriller, but a too leisurely pace and long, uninteresting yardage between kills hold it back.
Yeah, we'll get back to you -- in three days! Boo-yeah!!!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Dimension Films
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (German)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Rated R