Last Monday, I wrote a review on Pet Sematary, a horror film so well-done that I deserted my critic self altogether and described it, in no uncertain terms, as follows:
“With sumptuous dabs of horror, extravagant doses of unnerving moments and pictures that make your brain freeze, Pet Sematary might not be the best-reviewed horror movie of the last decade…
“But it could damn well be the most unnerving one.”
Yeah, that lame title made for a bone-chilling movie. Oh, the pun.
But hey, being the eternal movie junkie I am, I couldn’t settle down for long. Pet Sematary might’ve been a wonderfully done horror flick, but even its pedigree was insufficient to keep a film fanatic of my level bound.
And so, possessed by a sick urge to terrorise myself once again, I took out my wallet, paid for a couple of tickets and braced myself for the newest horror movie in town that threatened to dread us out.
For those unaware, DreadOut’s actually based off a horror survival game of the same name.
And like the game, the movie revolves around a group of high school students in Indonesia, who inadvertently stumble upon the supernatural in a bout of fun.
A group of high school seniors want to make history as the first people to livestream their journey in an infamous abandoned building, rumoured to be a former cult lair. Despite warnings to stay away from the forbidden building, the group sneaks in and accidentally opens a dark portal to a netherworld where they are hunted by a masses of terrifying creatures and a mysterious woman in red.
DREADOUT the movie is adapted from the internationally successful indie survival horror game of the same name. Since its release in 2014, DreadOut gained international fame after YouTuber PewDiePie gave the game a positive review. Within the first three months of release on gaming platform Steam, the game earned about USD$120,000 and 600,000 downloads.
Here’s the official trailer:
And for the review fanatics, here’re your required deets.
Objectively speaking, the scores aren’t the worst, and considering how video-game based adaptations tend to fall low on the meter (Dragon Ball Z anyone), I would say that DreadOut has already surpassed 90% of its category.
But would it be satisfying enough to entice the critic here? Let’s find out.
Enter my personal review
Similar to last week, I’ll be tweaking my usual objective criteria because really, any good horror film should excel in these three aspects:
- Scare o’ Meter
As always, do take note that this is my personal take on the movie, so if you disagree with my sentiments please do not pepper my doorstep with rotten eggs.
Also, it has to be mentioned that at the time of the screening, I was sitting right smack in the middle, four rows away from the screen. The best seats in my opinion, and also the most vulnerable to any potential scares.
Just pointing that out.
Boonz: Didn’t you write that chunk last week too?
As any horror buff would surely attest to, a tense atmosphere’s key to a solid, good horror movie. And in DreadOut‘s case…
I feel that the atmosphere’s something they really invested time and effort in.
Boasting eerie sound effects and creepy establishments that make you initially second-guess your decision to turn up for the movie, DreadOut proves an atmospheric ride from start to end.
Plus, the fact that you never know where the movie’s heading (unless you’ve played the game, and even then you might not be aware too) contributes to a sense of apprehension, a notion that you’re going to be caught unprepared at one point or another.
Now, if only the villains were less lame and scarier… it would’ve been perfect.
Atmosphere score: 4/5
Any good horror movie will need to implement, at the very least, a couple of jumpscares. Sounds niche, but that’s just reality:
Without jumpscares, nobody’s gonna feel, you know, trepidation.
But rarely, very rarely, you get a movie so deficient of jump scares that it just isn’t that scary anymore. And rather unfortunately…
DreadOut happens to fall into this category.
Churning out jumpscares with all the frequency of a grown man’s voice, they were few and far between, which is such a waste considering how the jumpscares, when presented, did scare the socks off my feet.
Instead, the movie chose to rely on tense action scenes in place of jumpscares, and the end result’s villains that come across more as ‘inefficient’, rather than ‘scary’.
Jumpscare score: 2.5/5
Scare o’ Meter
Let’s face it; a horror movie might possess all the necessary ingredients, but if it’s not scaring anyone it’s not a good horror movie.
Which would lead to the Goody Feed-exclusive Scare o’ Meter; just how well did it scare the audience, or to be more specific yours truly?
Well, as one might’ve surmised from the Jumpscares aspect, the movie didn’t really do a number on me. In fact, I was rendered so numb to the scares that I started concentrating on the characters instead.
“COME ON LINDA,” I wanted to shout at one point. “USE YOUR GODDAMN PHONE. STOP SCREAMING LIKE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE GHOST ALREADY AND USE YOUR PHONE.”
But of course, she couldn’t hear me through the screen, and even if she had heard me I bet she would’ve just started screaming too. Touche.
But with all things considered, I would’ve to say that the movie did present a number of good scares. Some honestly caught me unaware, and I’ve to confess that at occasional points of the movie I was subtly glancing to the right of the screen, hoping to avoid taking the jumpscare at full brunt.
Yep, I chickened out.
So with that said, I would’ve to say; the movie does have its moments, and it’s indeed an atmospheric ride from start to end. However, the sheer illogicality at hand (the way the characters act at times) and the large deficiency in jump scares (the tense action scenes aren’t gonna frighten anyone) prevents me from granting the movie a high score. Sure, I did get a little scared.
But it just served to leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
Scare o’ meter: 3.5/5
Overall score: 3.33/5
Overall verdict: Catch it if you’re a fan of the game, or are looking for some cheap thrills to fill your time. If you’re expecting a genuinely good horror movie, however…
You might be better off looking elsewhere.