Writer: Phil Ivanusic, Davila LeBlanc, Peter Ricq (Screenplay)
Starring: Matthew Nelson-Mahood, Lizzie Boys, Gabriel LaBelle, Lauren Holly, Donavon Stinson, Valerie Tian
Plot: While staying at a cabin in the woods during the weekend, three teenage kids discover their neighbor is ‘feeding’ guests to her zombie family. In short order, the battle is on as the kids fight to save themselves and their family.
Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Slow & Mundane
Story: Dead Shack starts when Roger (Stinson) is taking his kids Summer (Boys), Colin (LaBelle) and friend Jason (Nelson-Mahood) with his new girlfriend Lisa (Tian) to a camping trip in a forest cabin. As the kids goes exploring, they find the neighbouring house, which has lone woman (Holly) living in it, that brings back young men.
When the kids clear what she is up to they learn that she is collecting people to feed to her zombie family and now they have become her latest targets.
Thoughts on Dead Shack
Characters – Jason is the quiet teenager that joins the family on their camping trip, he clearly fancies Summer and is good friends with Colin. He needs to learn to step up when it comes to dealing with the neighbour if he is ever going to impress Summer too. Summer is the sister of Colin and I want to say older one at that, she doesn’t take anything from any body sticking up for herself whenever she is in trouble, she is the bravest of the group. Colin is the loud mouth brother and friend, he will always put his foot in it with his weak jokes and insults. The Neighbour is a woman that brings victims to her house to feed to her zombie family, when any escape she can hunt them just to keep her secret safe.
Performances – The three kids are the main part of the film, Matthew Nelson-Mahood is fine in the group with Lizzie Boys and Gabriel LaBelle just giving the average you would expect to see. Lauren Holly doesn’t make her character as menacing as she could do either.
Story – The story is simple, it follows three teenagers that learn their neighbour is a killer that is feeding her zombie family, only to become the latest targets. Think Fright Night with zombies and elements of a weak Stranger Things union between the friends, though the problem comes from the being older acting around their dad, I could see how the friends could use the language together, but around a father it does seem unlikely. The idea of suiting up to fight is acceptable without being anything new, it could do with being lighter hearted for a comedy, but the tone just comes off average and plain through the whole film.
Comedy/Horror – The comedy in the film doesn’t hit very often, it does juvenile for the most part. The horror misses to because we are going with a comedy attempt we don’t aim to make anything scary.
Settings – The film does take us to an isolated location which does work for what the neighbour is getting up to, other than that even the forest doesn’t get used well enough to create atmosphere.
Special Effects – The effects in the film do work, they seem to be practical and while most are cuts or body horror, they do understand how to make us look twice.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror comedy that doesn’t seem to know which side of the fence is wants to settle on, it isn’t funny enough to be a comedy and isn’t scary enough to be a horror, which only makes it feel plain and forgettable.
Overall: Lost in the genre shuffle.