Some say, when you leave this world, you go to a dark place, a purgatory, before you leave it for good…never to return. Some say that Death cannot be cheated. Once you die, you cannot come back. For the reaper will claim your soul.
Lily has been having a rough time lately. Due to the recent death of her mother, her school work has been suffering. So much so, that one of her teachers suggests taking a gap year to grieve properly. If that wasn’t enough, Lily’s brother, alcoholic-in-training Jeff, is more interested in his Internet fame as a daredevil than helping his sister process her grief. Basically he’s an ass; an ass that’s hoping to take his YouTube fame to new heights with his latest stunt. And what might that be? Nothing major. Just finding a way to temporarily die in order to “cross over” and speak with dead loved ones. Of course, to nobody’s surprise, this plan totally backfires as the grim reaper himself is now on the loose. It’s a movie that sounds ridiculous and looks as though it attempted to cash in on the Pet Sematary reboot and missed the mark. However, if you are in desperate need of a chuckle then I would highly recommend Rebecca Matthews’s Pet Graveyard to get the job done.
The gist of the film’s plot is sort of thrown at the audience in the first few minutes, mainly to show that this ritual of speaking with the dead has probably taken more than a handful of victims. The plot itself, an oddly delightful combo of Final Destination and Flatliners, isn’t that bad in theory. In fact, if done correctly, it probably could have made for a semi-decent movie. It just didn’t this time around. Which is a shame as it did have some good, horror elements: A sort of purgatory that is flooded in complete darkness? Sign me up! Ghosts? Can’t go wrong there! A weird hairless cat that randomly shows up when someone is about to die? Gross looking, but I’m intrigued.
The main reason movie doesn’t work is undoubtedly the acting. Whether it was caused by a disconnection from the director, or some death grip determination to stay faithful to the script, word for word. Everything felt stiff in some way. From the presence of the actors to the lines they spewed, everything felt so robotic, thus making it feel like a chore to watch after a certain point. Which is never fair to the audience. Even the guy that plays The Grim Reaper who was meant to be this malevolent, unstoppable apparatus, gave off a rigid vibe as he dawned a costume that looked like it came from the dollar store. Not even the killings could offer this film any redemption, coming off as weak and uncreative at best.
All in all? It’s kind of a mess. A mess that earned a few laughs but that isn’t worth a second watch. The characters are unlikable, unrelatable and offer not a shred of wit or intelligence to justify this fact. The movie’s only saving graces come in the form of the occasional picturesque shot of the area used during a transition scene (yes, even the ones with that stupid cat). And the performances of the supporting cast that gave off actually creepy while portraying the dead loved ones. I’m sure the film could’ve turned out worse. But there’s also much better choices out there if you’re looking to waste an afternoon.
Wicked Rating: 2/10
Director(s): Rebecca J. Matthews
Writer(s): Suzy Spade
Starring: Jessica O’Toole, David Cotter, Rita Siddiqui, Hindolo Koroma, Kate Milner-Evans, Georgina Jane, T’Jean Uter-Dinh, and Hattie Willow.
Studio/Production Co: Uncork’d Entertainment
Length: 90 minutes (approximately)
Sub-genre: Paranormal, occult, supernatural, weird animals