It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when you’re bored to tears by a horror film. At the very least, you should be either be shocked, grossed-out, or able to laugh at bad performances. Dead Daughters manages to avoid all this, instead providing a very long, grittily shot film that rarely lets a shot linger on screen for more than a couple of seconds.
It sounds similar to the slew of J-horror films we’ve seen in the past few years – a trio of ghostly girls killed by their mother loiter around certain victims for three days, ensuring that they behave in a morally correct manner. If the victims behave poorly, they are killed. By the editor.
Seriously, this film has so many rapid cuts and frantic shots that it does your head in. It isn’t so much of a handheld problem, like The Bourne Ultimatum, but it’s certainly disorienting. And more importantly, it seems to be in aid of hiding the fact that this film has almost no ghosts. We only ever catch a glimpse of them, even towards the end. What we do see looks suspiciously like a Japanese girl with hair covering her eyes, but let’s forget that for now. The first few scary scenes do indeed send some chills up the spine, because we don’t see anything. But the problem is this happens throughout the film. Sooner or later, a horror flick has to show off its beastie, otherwise the suspense starts to merely piss the viewer off. You don’t actually clearly see anything more than what appears in the trailer.
The story doesn’t even make too much sense. We could have been a victim of bad subtitling, but the rules determined by the ghosts aren’t all that clear. Our main characters have no backstory, they just seem to a group of people in their early 20s. After learning of the demise of their friend, and the urban legend behind it, they vow to do nothing bad for the next three days. But even so, they start to die anyway. It’s really quite strange. Hollywood’s already got it pegged for a remake, and I can imagine that they’ll have a field day with the premise, and the result will probably have more than a passing similarity to Final Destination.
A strangely deliberate and sincere film that fails to entertain.Rating: