Plot:A writer travels to an abandoned house to write a screenplay. However, a bout of writer's block and other unforeseen events lead her to a psychological breakdown.
Review:I am beginning to think, supernatural horror-thriller's, should come with a sticker that reads..."BEWARE...inside dvd might not be as interesting as box art." This is the case with "Deadline", a film which on the surface, looks very gritty and twisted and dark. But once you've popped it into the DVD player, and taken the 80 minute journey, you feel like you've just watched a Halloween episode of "General Hospital".
The film follows a struggling writer (Murphy), who gets hooked up with a place out in the country by a rich producer type, where she can focus on her screenplay penning. Her friend drives her out there, but once we get a look at the house, we know exactly where the film is going. The house is old and decrepit-looking, but it has that countryside getaway appeal and charm at the same time. It creaks, and cracks, moans, and groans, because it's so old.
So this gives the movie all sorts of opportunities to play those cute little "is it the house or something else?" mindgames that all spooky house movies love to play on us unsuspecting viewers. Yep, it's enough to make you roll your eyes in annoyance. Of course Murphy's character has the usual problems a young women in a horror film would have. She has the obligatory ex-boyfriend who's in jail and has threatened to come after once he's a free man problem.
Yep, where have we seen that before eh? So now, we have two choices when it comes to the countryside el-creep-o mansion. It's either haunted, or the psycho ex has gotten out early unbeknownst to his ex-girlfriend, and is lying in wait at the house to get back with her..."by any means necessary" of course. I always wonder why in these movies we're not given enough choices to spice things up. I have two choices with this film, to believe the house is haunted by a lame ghost, or believe the crazy ex-boyfriend is at it again, trying to scare his ex.
Oh, scary....not. As far as the supernatural hijinx are concerned within this picture, they basically stem, and mirror Murphy's characters situation. The house was once occupied by a happy young couple (Birch, Blucas), but, the boyfriend was an increasingly jealous type, and the film unfolds this side-story as part of the houses history. We watch as Birches character and Blucases character go from happy young couple, to hyper paranoid guy and super scared girl.
It isn't hard to figure out where these two end up, and thus, the houses weird noises and creaks, cracks, etc. Yeah, the place is haunted, and yeah, the haunting has ties to the houses previous occupants, the couple, but...this movie never lets us know the house is really haunted. We get Brittany Murphy crying, whining, walking around, taking a bath, looking scared, looking worried, and of course having the obligatory flashback sequence. We never see any blood, gore, of anything ghostly or terrifying. Obviously, the director of this film had no clue on how to do a supernatural horror film.
I've seen infomercials scarier than this supposedly "haunted" house. If this place is supposed to be haunted, then the Detroit Lions actually qualify as an NFL Football team. Sadly, Murphy, who is decent to look at, but talent-wise, seems to get worse with age, fails to carry this picture anywhere beyond an early grave. By the 40 minute mark, you're just ready to catch some shut-eye and tell your best friend to wake you when it's over. Because this is one of those movies that is so uneventful, you could sleep, or play PS3 through most of it, return for the finale, and still feel as if you haven't missed a damn thing, plot or event-wise.
The movies finale, speaking of which, is a total drag, and yes, the big Scooby Doo mystery does get solved, but the mystery itself is so uninteresting that you're surprised it even qualifies as a mystery. To sum things up, maybe if the main character in this movie had just spent a week at a local motel instead of this creaky old house, she would've been better off. Then again, so would I for having to sit through such nonsense.
Positives:The opening 5 minutes hold promise.
Negatives:Once the opening five minutes pass by, the film falls deeper and deeper into a chasm or cliches, boredom, and a lack of scares. Murphy's character is so depressing and uninteresting to watch as well, a terrible position for someone who's supposed to be the "lead."
Overall:One star out of four.
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