When Kaboom was scrapped from this year’s Frightfest, a replacement had to be found, so The Amazing Krypto Brothers (that’s there interpretation not mine) movie Damned By Dawn was thrown in as a replacement.
Set in rural Australia Damned By Dawn see’s Claire take her boyfriend to the family home for the weekend, where her sick grandmother is on her deathbed. While all starts ok, the grandmother declines fast and she starts mumbling about a banshee. When the banshee arrives, Claire decides in a moment of stupidity to throw the banshee out of the window, thus unleashing a night of terror.
I was reluctant to watch Damned By Dawn, but figured that because it was getting quite a prime spot in the Frighfest schedule it must be quite good. Despite its clear low budget, the movie started well to a certain degree with two really good “jumps” in which the audience reacted, some almost jumped out of their seats. But this was where the good aspects of the movie ended, and the remainder of the movie was a product so dire that I, and others in the surrounding seats were just itching for the end.
The story goes wrong when the plot falls down the line of a hundred other stalk and slash movies, the only difference here is that the killers are levitating banshees that fly around slashing down victims with there scythes.
The movie has been compared to Evil Dead, some even saying that it is an unofficial “Evil Dead 4” this must be a self appointed title by the production company, because to even hope to reach such a level (which personally I feel is quite low) is an achievement this movie only dreams of. Evil Dead had originality, wit, and style; this is like the invention of a small child’s mind.
By far the worst aspect of the movie was as it drew to a close it was just became a terrible and uncomfortable ordeal, Claire runs from one scenario to another, one minute going in to show the banshee who’s boss, the next running for her life crying. A fight with the dead grandmother creates the ultimate YAWN! And by that point I actually asked myself why on earth I had sat there for so long.
While I do have to commend director Brett Anstey for delivering the only things close to scares I had received in the festival, that’s where the praise ends. If only he had focused on creating scares rather than building a terrible, terrible story things would have been so much better.
I won’t talk about the cast because there was nobody there to give any praise too. The special effects were just awful, like something from a kids afternoon TV show; and while I appreciate the budgetary limitations not seeing the banshees would have been far better, with one final reveal at the end; on this basis the movie would have scored some praise points.
If your considering watching Damned By Dawn, check yourself, then ask the question, is your life so worthless you have 90 odd minutes to waste on this?