Thursday, March 5, 2015

Film Review: The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)

The Deaths of Ian Stone (Review)
United Kingdom/United States/2007
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

"Despite the disappointment, this was a refreshing horror film."

Ian Stone (Mike Vogel), a seemingly regular person, suffers from a violent death every day, but keeps waking up in new lives...

The Deaths of Ian Stone is a very interesting horror film. The story takes some time to get started, but it really starts moving after 15 minutes or so. The story follows Ian Stone as he continuously dies and awakens -- each time, he learns something new about the phenomena -- each time, the death becomes more violent and gruesome. It started to lose me again towards the end. The final act (i.e. the explanation) was off to me. The ending was mostly disappointing, at this point, it almost felt less like a horror movie and more like a fantasy movie.

The Deaths of Ian Stone is a hit-or-miss of a horror film. It starts off slow, picks up the pace for some great horror sequences, then slows down for an action-oriented ending. I liked most of the film, except for the final act. I was so interested during the first hour, it led to overwhelming disappointment for the ending. As far as horror elements, this film mostly consists of jump-scares and gore -- both are moderately effective. Otherwise, nothing about the story or horror stand out as either terrible or amazing. Despite the very interesting concept, I don't have much else to say about the story -- that should say a fair bit.

The acting was good, though. Mike Vogel has the leading man charisma and screen presence. Christina Cole is also great. The special effects are good. I'm usually not a big fan of computer effects in horror movies, but I didn't mind these special effects. In fact, I actually enjoyed the computer-generated creatures. Some of the makeup towards the end was iffy at best, though. Director Dario Piana crafts some solid scares with this mind-bending concept, and he also pulls some good performances from his cast. The writing from Brendan Hood was strong enough to keep my attention, but I was not a fan of the finale.

Overall, The Deaths of Ian Stone was a good film. Although it does fumble towards the end, it offered more than enough to keep me hooked. The first hour was really good, the horror and thrills were strong, and the acting wasn't half-bad. Despite the disappointment, this was a refreshing horror film.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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