Movie Review-Death and Cremation

Plot-Think Dexter with maybe flashes of Karate Kid. Brad Dourif plays Stanley who does cremations out of his basement. Stan also murders people he perceives to be bullies. ( there is a anti bully message if there ever was one) By somewhat a cruel twist of fate he meets Jarod. Jarod goes to his work place to ask for a job. Soon the two develop a bond, and Stan learns that Jarod at school has been bullied by a group of guys. Thru the bullies missing day by day, and one by one..Jarod starts to learn what is really happening in the crematorium.

Review-Last month, we were praising the comebacks of Rebecca DeMornay and Rosanna Arquette. This time around, it is Brad Dourif. Can this be called a comeback film though? He never left and still doing bit roles here and there. This is quite easily his best role since Child’s Play. Finally a hero/villian who we are not sure if we should be cheering him, for eliminating people in life we hate to deal with, or hoping he gets his because he is a serial killer. Brad plays this so smartly, that the lines are so blurred as to whether he is a victim of his upbringing ( which is shown in a flashback scene, that was really well done) or that he takes joy in doing this. It was almost like a darker episode of Dexter with a bully theme. This film sells you on fate, that things happen for a reason, that we are destined to meet people who change our lives whether it is intentional or not. Does this make any sense so far? Well, Jarod is a loner at school. He has painted finger nails, he does not play with the kids during gym. He is bullied and humiliated on a daily basis by a group of guys. These scenes could be taken out of any school headline, or maybe even the original Karate Kid. One day, a prank goes too far. One of the guys girlfriends Lindsay, comes on to Jarod, and baits him for another humiliation. Well, as fate would have it. Lindsay’s parents that night would meet Stanley, and during the initial meeting Lindsay refers to Stanley as a “faggot”. Well, when Lindsay goes missing is when the beatings for Jarod get worst, because the guys think Jarod has something to do with it. And that is when Jarod realizes that Stanley may have something to do with Lindsay missing.

This film for what it was delivered. Keep in mind, this is a indie small budget drama with horror elements. Almost like a revenge/vengance film. The violence is pretty brutal. His weapon of choice at times is a baseball bat. We do get to see use a bowling ball later in the film. That the true creepy factor of the film is more on the character and the portrayal, which Brad does spot on. The film does have it’s flaws, and there are a few scenes that felt sort of out of place, but as a whole the film was a cut above the rest in this genre. How is Brad Dourif not starring in more films or at least a bad guy stint on Dexter? He makes Stanley feel like a Hannibal Lecter meets your lonely, and depressed next door neighbor. I think for people who need a reminder that Brad is still a great actor, this may be the film for you. All in all…while it may or may not make any top 10 lists, I think a lot of people will still be talking a lot about it. See it.

8 out of 10