Director: Marcus Adams
Starring: Joe Absolom, Tom Bell, Lara Belmont, Lukas Haas, James Hill, Alex Newman, Mel Raido, Marsha Thompson . UK . 1h 35m
When a was a youngster the local Odeon was my all time favourite place to hang out, sticky popcorn floors, ushers who didn’t age check you and tickets I could afford with my SU card, tons of free film postcards and on the odd occasion a seat that wasn’t stained. Sadly it closed around the early 2000’s but I had a handful of postcard adverts for films I planned to see before the doors shut, but I didn’t make it 😦
Long Time Dead was on the top of the pile but I totally forgot about it.. A few years ago I found a copy in a charity shop by the seaside and it’s alright.. I guess… It feels as if a British director was trying to make a Hollywood movie, and really Brits make amazing horrors without needed to fall into the American Cliché soup.
Seemly inspired by occult myths and legends and having a feel of Final Destination (2000) and Truth or Dare (2018) this film follows a group of friends who decide to dabble with a makeshift Ouija board and accidently conjure a Djinn who informs them that they are all going to die, excusing the moment and a blip in the nights entertainment, they go about their lives until they are slowly tormented and picked off.. The film is that simple, it could have been more in depth, more terrifying and more comprehensive but for a debut it’s not a total loss.
Starting in Morocco a group of people are using a ouija board, throughout the scene something is seen from the first person perspective moving around then coming at someone suddenly the film cuts.. The first of many cliches..
A group of 20 somethings are looking for a bigger thrill, while out clubbing they find a secluded place and make up a DIY Ouija board as it’s the biggest thrill one of the guys has ever had (?) Simple instructions are given.. Wait for it. Everyone must place their index finger on the glass and under no circumstances can they remove it early or the spirit they have conjured can’t return. No prizes for what happens next. The glass starts to move slowly and spells DJINN, then one guy asks if it can predict the future the glass goes to “YES” then spells out ALL DIE and then ANNIE. One guy freaks out runs out the room, breaking the one rule, and Annie is slaughtered.
For the rest of the movie the most idiot choices are made and one by one the group are picked off in hideous ways by the Djinn who does the typical possession of person then sets up a trap to kill one of the group, who do eventually find a way to fight back. It’s okay for the time, looking back it’s so 90’s, being released so close to the 2000 there’s a lot of 90’s clothing and music etc, a simple trip down memory lane.
Guessing where the Djinn is, can be fun, sometimes it’s quite obvious, the give away are the bright yellow eyes but that only happens after a kill and the film does offer a few horrendous killings, nothing outlandish but it’s not a total waste.
The basic story has some promise, Djinn’s are no strangers to horror cinema, for years Wishmaster really gripped us with tacky messy movies that we love, more recently Jinn (2014) burst on our screen with a twang of martial arts horror. But considering the history of Djinn hating humans and potentially being lizards there’s so much scope for some seriously dangerous and frightful horror, but to date I’m struggling to really find a movie that takes that does it’s homework and takes a leap.
the scenes are all to long and sometimes quite boring, I get the impression that Adams is trying to build tension but really it’s just long winded amateurish acting from his young cast. There’s not much character development but from the beginning it’s apparent that they are cannon fodder for this ancient beast.
It’s a great effort and a shame that it didn’t quite make the mark.