DEAD BY DAWN **** USA 2020 Dir: Sean Cain. 85 mins
Distraught, grieving and suicidal father Dylan (Kelcey Watson) heads to his cabin in the woods to be in the last place his wife and daughter were to end it all. Putting the barrel of his gun in his mouth and just about to pull the trigger he hears a panicked knock at the door along with a cry for help. A young woman, Lulu (Drew Mitchell) is lying on the floor helpless, bleeding and terrified. He takes her in just as her persuers call on him to ask to her whereabouts. She explains they had kidnapped and raped her and worse still she believes one of them is a family member. Appalled on hearing what has happened to Lulu, Dylan decides to help her no matter what. With limited ammo and the help of Dylans daughters zombie apocalypse survival box they set up booby traps around the house as they fight for their lives against the 3 attackers. Will they make it out alive and turn the tables on the thugs? Here only the strongest will survive!
Containing 2 separate stories of heart break that come together when Dylan and Lulu meet, this compelling home invasion/rape revenge movie is a really good watch. Incredibly well thought out it brings a great sense of suspense throughout and for a low budget film it’s setting, feel and pace are well skilled. A lot of it is down to the cast who really give it their all, sometimes the acting is a little over the top but it doesn’t feel as awkward as can sometimes happen. Bo Burroughs is Neil the sicko criminal with his crazy girlfriend known only as Snack (Jamie Bernadette) who are hired by Uncle Chad (Timothy Muskatell) to kidnap Lulu as she is on her way to her uncle’s for a Halloween party. These 3 work really well together. Muskatell does great as the cowardly, pervy uncle, Burroughs as a madman and Jamie Bernadette at being Jamie Bernadette. Kelcey Watson pulls off an emotional performance with Drew Mitchell faltering a bit but none the less they were all entertaining. Well paced and an effective soundtrack with some brief but exceptional practical effects this is a solid if slightly guarded venture in this genre. With a couple of interesting little twists that don’t necessarily make it stand out as such but they will hold your attention and make it an enjoyable watch.
Review by Sarah Budd