IMMORTAL ** USA 2019 Dir: Jon Dabach, Tom Colley, Danny Isaacs, Rob Margolies. 94 mins
Writer and director Jon Dabach presents an anthology of four stories that each explore what results in a character discovering their immortality.
In the first story (starring Dylan Baker) a student athlete finds herself at the mercy of a modern day ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ (1932). The second follows the fate of a cash-strapped couple who are expecting a baby. The next (featuring genre favorite Tony Todd) has an elderly couple, of whom one has an incurable disease, and choices are made. The final segment features a young man who is the fatal victim of a hit and run, only to find himself facing those that killed him.
Anthology films are always a mixed bag and this is at least singular in tone and theme. In the first segment Dylan Baker stars as an English teacher who is trying to explain to his class the power of allegory in fiction. Why use allegory, he asks, rather than just coming out and saying what you mean, when trying to get his class to understand ‘The Lord of The Flies’? The answer is, ironically, demonstrated in this film. From ‘The Twilight Zone’, ‘Star Trek’ through to the anthology films of Amicus, horror and science fiction have always been an excellent way to deal with contemporary issues. The interesting premise here, to remove all of those genre trappings, leaves some interesting stories but which are told in very dull, melodramatic ways. Allegory provides some sense of distance that this film rejects, but it also provides entertainment and escapism. This is more of a drama than anything else. Those looking for horror had better look elsewhere, but if you are interested in a more emotional and realistic approach to the anthology may want to check this out.
Review by Ben Underwood