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I DIDN'T COME HERE TO DIE is the story of six twenty-somethings who retreat to the woods on a humanitarian effort but find something much more sinister. Let's take a look at whether this mad shocker is worth the hike...
We open on a backwoods road, as a police officer nervously inspects a brutal car crash. Gun drawn, he makes his way around an abandoned van to a lifeless bloody body in the middle of the road and then to a car that has slammed into a tree. He retreats for back-up as an eyeless girl attacks him. After realizing that the opening scene is actually the end of the film, you begin to get an idea that maybe IDCHTD is going to be one of those special low-budget horrors that do everything right.
The next twenty minutes, of the 80 minute film, trudges along as we are introduced to the cast of characters. My biggest complaint during the first act wasn't the stereotypical characters because writer/director Bradley Scott Sullivan ultimately turns all the stereotypes on their head throughout the film. The leader of the volunteer crew is Sophia, played by the voluptuous Emmy Robbin. Sophia takes a liking to Danny, the unlucky good guy, and the closest thing to a hero that the film has. The rest of the crew consists of the overzealous helper Miranda, Chris the bad boy, party girl Julie, and Steve, the whipped boyfriend. They play their stereotypes so well that my immediate thought was that none of them could act but as the film progresses we see that this isn't true and that they are all perfectly cast. My biggest complaint was the almost oppressive use of close-up shots. Shot after shot of the characters faces as they spoke became quickly noticeable and irritating during the first act. Then it happens.
Miranda makes a mistake that shifts the entire film into overdrive and you won't see it coming. Quick action is needed and the characters soon succumb to paranoia, bad decisions, delusions, and guilt as they spiral into a bloody mess of a story. The action starts and IDCHTD returns to the engrossing madness that the opening scene portrayed and offers a really good horror experience. All the conventional horror tricks were there but they never played out in ways that I assumed they would and that kept the film fresh.
IDCHTD is not a perfect film but for the budget it is pretty close. Stellar acting, effects, and a story that will keep you interested makes this a must see for any horror fan.
More on the film at the official IDCTHD website.
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