Directed – Luke Brady
Starring – Hannah Tointon, Louisa Lytton, Philip Baratini, Matthew Stathers, Nigel Boyle.
UK release on VOD – Friday 13th September 2013
USA release on VOD – October 31st 2013
Recently there has been quite a buzz in the (excuse the promotion) UK Horror Scene . There are lots of features in production and even more with funding pages, so everything is looking good and horror definitely seems to be up in these shores. With the major releases like The Conjuring, You’re Next and Insidious 2 hitting the big screens then people are up for horror.
Recently Luke Brady contacted me about a film that has taken him 5 long years to put together and was ready for release. Being the horror fan I am I put a quick article on UKHS and have been keeping an eye on Young, High and Dead ever since.
I got an online screener the day before the release date of Friday 13th September 2013 (nice), and just had to watch it immediately. So less of my waffling and on with my thoughts on Young, High and Dead….
Two couples Katy (Hannah Tointon – Inbetweeners, The Children), Jenny (Louisa Lytton – Eastenders), John (Philip Baratini – Band of Brothers) and Dan (Matthew Stathers) are setting off to go on a camping trip for the weekend. On the way they meet up with their friend Gary (Nigel Boyle) at a country pub near their destination.
This is interspersed with clips of a man who is seemingly a child killer (even in the pub there is a picture by the bar of a missing child).
As they leave the pub Gary shows the rest of the gang his stash of drugs he has brought along for the weekend. This includes cocaine, speed, cannabis and even ketamine. Everyone seems overjoyed with this and even have a small snort of *coke* in the pub car park.
After this we again see the *killer* now walking from a park hand-in-hand with a small girl. It then pans to him dragging along a full rubble sack through the woods and burying it. As he buries it the group walk past nearby to set up their tents.
The guys set up camp as night draws in and then get wasted on Gary’s cocktails of drink and drugs. The girls head off after a while and the lads stay up later to indulge some more. In the morning when everyone wakes up the fun begins !!
So where to begin , well lets start with my negatives. Firstly the film is about 20 minutes too long , really some of the first 60 minutes could be cut back and I would have loved to see the final 20 minutes maybe extended. And my second and final moan is the soundtrack or lack of it. I was really disappointed by the sound and when any scene with a tad of tension came then what sounded like an out of tune air-raid siren kicked in, this was very annoying with headphones on. I hate moaning and negativity but this is a review and I must be honest.
OK now the positives (of which there are many). For a start the character development was very strong as was the acting in the main characters , the scenes of the killer in the start of the film are very unnerving and are uncomfortable viewing. One really interesting aspect to the film is that the main characters are so unlikable that you as a viewer feel that death coming to them would be sweet sweet karma.
Young, High and Dead is a fine example of UK independent horror and at times is scary as hell, often uncomfortable and a bloody good ride. It may have some faults but it easily overcomes these with original ideas, fine acting and a strong story.
It just goes to show that if you down to the woods today – don’t take a grands worth of drugs with you !!
On a final note the highlight for me was when John who is a Scouser (from Liverpool) tells someone to “Calm Down” (non UK readers please search You Tube for Harry Enfield – Scousers) total genius !
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