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Deadgirl Reviews

Reviewed By: Donald Guarisco

This low-budget indie is one of the more disturbing and impressive horror films in recent memory. The key strength of Deadgirl is Trent Haaga's script: he offsets the story's gruesome, often surreal extremes with a well-observed, unsentimentalized portrait of teenage personalities and behavior patterns. The performances are also unexpectedly strong for this budget level: Shiloh Fernandez effectively conveys the emotional inertia of his "follower"-type characterization and Candice Accola is alternately alluring and frustrating as his willfully blind object of adoration. However, the real core of the movie in terms of performance is Noah Segan: he summons up an impressive mixture of charisma and malice to create a character that embodies the male teenage id run amuck. Deadgirl further benefits from confident direction by first-timers Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel. This kind of material could have gone too far or come off unconvincing with the wrong directorial approach but Sarmiento and Harel handle it in a subtle, atmospheric style that never overplays its hand. Thus, when the shocks start to pile up, they really do pack a punch. To sum up, Deadgirl is a dark, provocative piece of work. It may be too much for sensitive viewers but those who can stick with it will be rewarded with a powerful, memorable excursion into the dark side of the teenage mind.