A real estate developer buys an old summer camp to build new homes. However, the property has a dark history that ties to a legend of supernatural worship and human sacrifice. A celebration weekend turns deadly when construction disturbs forbidden ground. Unable to escape, they must fight for survival and destroy the ancient megalith, forever closing the gateway to the Dark Dimension and the spirits from beyond.
A Deadly Legend puts the “ghoul” in goulash. For those unfamiliar with the term, goulash is a nickname for the stew one would make with all the leftover ingredients from prior meals, and you can easily identify every narrative herb added to the mix here: ancient burial grounds, possessions, creepy ghost girls, tragedy-laced summer camps, deals with the devil. It’s almost as if Eric Wolf’s script had been spat out of an artificial intelligence horror film generator.
Kristen Anne Ferraro stars as Joan Huntar, a developer who thinks it’s a swell idea to erect a housing development on a former summer camp with a storied past. During the hearing for the proposal, a local antique store owner (Judd Hirsch, in a brief cameo) warns of the cursed Earth on which they plan to build. After the project’s approval, Joan decides to celebrate with her friends at a nearby lakeside home. At the same time, construction of the ground begins and uncovers an ancient sacrificial site and unleashing a host of supernatural happenings.
“…they must fight for survival and destroy the ancient megalith…”
Under Pamela Moriarty’s direction, none of what happens is made clear. Worse, is that who is being haunted and why is boring and engaging. The first-time director shows she knows a thing or two behind the lens, but it’s tough to determine with such a chaotic script that doesn’t know if it wants to play Chutes & Ladders or with an Ouija board.
Even more baffling is how this mess landed a few established names, including Lori Petty and Corbin Bernsen. Their roles are brief, but all seem to have higher standards.
It’s not just that A Deadly Legend suffers from its budgetary limitations, but rather its punch-drunk narrative swerves all over the road. Characters appear and vanish without consequence or rationale, its goofy interdimensional rules are never clear, and its cop-out conclusion is both cheap and confusing.
A Deadly Legend is a hodge-podge of horror elements that never add up to anything of substance and undercut by a budget that is well under its aspirations.
"…its punch-drunk narrative swerves all over the road."