Long Time Dead
Playing with fire. Don't touch that ouija board...
dir Marcus Adams
scr Eitan Arrusi, Daniel Bronzite, Chris Baker, Andy Day
with Alec Newman, Lukas Haas, Marsha Thomason, Joe Absalom, Lara Belmont, James Hiller, Mel Raido, Melanie Gutteridge, Tom Bell, Michael Feast, Cyril Nri, Nicolas Chagrin
release UK 18.Jan.02
Universal
01/UK 1h34

1 out of 5 stars
R E V I E W   B Y   R I C H   C L I N E
There's a sinister, dark vibe in this British thriller ... pity about the virtually nonexistent script. It's about a group of eight students who, while out clubbing one night, decide to try a ouija board to contact the dead, as you do. They unwittingly awaken a djinn (aka genie) who last ran rampage in 1979 Morocco and is now back for revenge! Something involving their creepy landlord (Bell). Anyway, all of this is just an excuse for the eight young stars to walk off alone for no real reason so they can stumble through darkened corridors while the background music builds to a horrific shriek just before they encounter either a red herring (ha ha!) or a gruesome death.

If the writers had bothered to tighten up the script even a little bit, this could have been a creepy little thriller. But there's not even a whiff of internal logic here--nothing anyone does rings remotely true. The script seems to have been written as they were filming, adding lame explanations and stupid situations just to get each teen alone. As a result it simply isn't scary at all. The only jolts come from loud noises in the dark (sets are all painted black and lights are never switched on). There's nothing wrong with the cast--all of them valiantly try to look terrified even though you're not quite sure why. Newman is OK in the central role, which requires more of him than the others; Thomason is hilarious as the token expert on supernatural things ("We have to do a banishing!"); and what Haas is doing here, besides being the token Yank, is anyone's guess. This is obviously an attempt by British filmmakers to tap into that US teen slasher market. And to be honest, it's much better than most American efforts, simply because there is a gruesome edge here that those lack. But that's the only nice thing I can say about it.
themes, violence, language cert 15 14.Jan.02

R E A D E R   R E V I E W S
send your review to Shadows... "I thought it was great. The people were believable and the plot reasonably believable. It's fun - too many reviews I have read make it seem like it is something to be compared to Scream. Come on people, it's only for laughs." --Sara, London 6.Oct.02
2002 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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