I see a ton of indie horror movies in my spare time. Hell, I have plenty of friends in the Toledo area who put their blood, sweat, and tears into making their art, so I know just how fulfilling and soul-destroying indie filmmaking can be. The final product is rarely noteworthy, and there are times where I struggle to offer a critique that’s both genuine and kind. Most of the time, I just pat them on the back and ask what they’re doing next.
But Brad Twigg's Deathboard is an exception to the rule, and it’s one of those indie horror treasures I can see myself watching repeatedly. Although it’s full of 80’s slasher comedy-horror cheesiness, the formula works surprisingly well.
The story is generic enough that you can follow it while you’re high or drunk. A girl named Valerie buys a house where an infamous murder took place, and during a housewarming party with a group of her friends, the girls decide to play with a Ouija board…and pure evil is unleashed.
I have to give major props to the makeup and effects department. Whatever magic they did behind the scenes, I was sold on the gory aspects of the movie hook, line, and sinker. Deathboard opens with an incredibly graphic presentation of mutilated bodies, something that would immediately destroy an indie horror movie if the gore effects are less than perfect—I mean, how many times have you watched the first ten minutes of a free movie on Amazon Prime, saw how mediocre the gore was, and dismissed the rest of the movie as disposable indie trash? I can assure you, Deathboard succeeds where many lesser movies have failed in this regard.
The acting was subpar at times, which wasn’t too distracting once I accepted I wasn’t supposed to take the movie too seriously. The main cast was exceptional, particularly the leading ladies, and I could tell they enjoyed their time on set and built a genuine chemistry with each other.
Character wise, Deathboard doesn’t reach far beyond your typical slasher movie expectations. The characters were each given just enough characterization that I recognized who they were when they died, and to that end, they were at least more than gore fodder. The girls were all memorable enough that I enjoyed their silly moments together on screen, and they weren’t given so much backstory or characterization that I felt wrecked when they died, which I think was intentional. This isn’t supposed to be an art film, nor is it supposed to intellectually engaging. We’re here to watch horrible shit happen to people who (for the most part) don’t deserve it, and for better or worse, that’s part of the slasher genre.
To sum it up, Deathboard works pretty well, especially if you’re simply looking for a fun movie that doesn’t require much heavy lifting on your end. It didn’t lose me at all throughout, it was visually appealing, and it reminded me of why I like slasher movies so much.
Also, there was tons of nudity, and that’s always a plus. Three shower scenes in a row is a great way to get me…errr…”emotionally invested” in the sexy female leads. Again, the slasher horror tropes work well, and I’m excited to see what director Brad Twigg gives us next.
Throughout the month of October, I’ll be reviewing 31 movies I’ve never seen before. Is there an excellent movie you think I haven’t seen? Tell me in the comments below, and I’ll check it out!