By Merle Bertrand | July 27, 2000

A deserted cabin in the middle of the woods. Four h***y young people out for a weekend getaway. An ominously mysterious locked trunk in the basement. The trunk, opened by one of the curious campers, unleashes a malevolent force upon the world; a ghostly evil which sets about murdering the dumb as mud fences poltergeist fodder in a variety of creatively gruesome fashions. Sound familiar? Feel like we’ve seen this same movie again and again about a dozen times now?
Anyone who’s made a film — and even most people who haven’t — knows that making a movie is a buttload of hard work. So, why go to all the trouble, misery and aggravation of making a movie…that’s already been made ad nauseam? It’s as annoying as it is illogical.
And director Vince di Meglio’s “Deadfall” is a doozy. About as trite and unimaginatively boilerplate as they come, I’d go so far as to say there’s not an original thought in the whole damned thing. So, in a desperate attempt to make this review even remotely entertaining, let’s compare “Deadfall” to that paragon of story telling originality; a typical episode of “Scooby Doo”…minus the Scoob-ster or, for that matter, any comic relief whatsoever.
Stanley (Patrick Lawlor) is the “Fred,” or brainy leader of the group, although with a far nerdier appearance and demeanor than his blond cartoon hunk counterpart. His pleasant and down to earth girlfriend Dora (Audrey Lowe) is (a far more attractive) “Velma” while Kirsten Leigh’s Hope passes as “Daphne.” All boobs and blue eyes, Hope makes a perfectly shallow girlfriend for the requisite dim-witted dork “Shaggy,” er, Rudy (Brady Fischer). Of course, these aren’t really characters but caricatures; about as multi-dimensional as the film on which they were shot. If this film had had a Scooby clone, it would have been far more entertaining. Alas, it doesn’t. Nothing to relieve the tedium of these morons doing everything in their power to make sure they bite it. Nothing to provide some pep for a film with about as much pizazz as a tuna casserole on its third trip into the microwave. Only the passable, though not exceptional effects work and a marginally chilling ending saves this snorer from a complete meltdown. However, neither is strong enough to compensate for “Deadfall”‘s generic plagiarism of every other horror film known to man. Only the end result differs from “Scooby Doo.” Unlike every episode of that cartoon classic, these “meddling kids” at least get what they deserve for being so damned dumb. Scooby-roo!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Join our Film Threat Newsletter

Newsletter Icon