Anthology horror films seem to be on the rise lately, thanks to the success of titles like V/H/S and THE ABC’S OF DEATH. I don’t mind this trend at all because I love anthologies, regardless of whether they are in book or movie form. DEAD GIRLS is a recent release from the fine folks at Brain Damage Films. This collection of three shorts is subject-specific, however, as each segment deals with dead girls back from the grave for revenge. And while the tales included in this anthology have their faults, they are still entertaining and fun.
If you are not familiar with DEAD GIRLS, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Brain Damage Films:
Three stories of horror connected through the pages of dead girls’ diaries. In one, a ghostly apparition seeks revenge upon the man who betrayed her love and is responsible for her death. In another a mystical object helps a young woman reach out from beyond the grave to exact her revenge against the stuck up sisters of a college sorority. And in the third a young woman who has lost her way and her faith finds the answer to her prayers in the last place she would have expected. “Dead Girls” is a horror anthology similar to such classics of the genre as Tales From The Crypt, Trick ‘R Treat, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Creepshow, and many others.
I grew up watching shows like TALES FROM THE CRYPT, THE TWILIGHT ZONE, MONSTERS, and TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE. This is probably a big part of why I like anthologies so much. Each episode or short usually packs a lot of punch in just a short amount of time.
DEAD GIRLS is shot fairly well, and the production value looks decent. Each segment is made well for the most part, and each looks good onscreen. I don’t have many complaints about the film overall from an appearance standpoint.
Likewise, the acting is pretty decent as well. This is a lower budget film, so one cannot expect Oscar-quality acting. However, the whole cast does a good job in their roles here. This is really saying something, too, for there are many “main” characters throughout the film.
The special effects in DEAD GIRLS are pretty good, although I would have preferred more gore. There’s a small bit of carnage in each segment, but nothing that really stands out. This is not necessarily a negative, and most people could probably care less about it…but this is my personal opinion. I like to see limbs flying and fountains of crimson painting the walls. But that’s just me.
My main complaint with DEAD GIRLS is the lack of originality in the stories. Even though the segments are well done, they just don’t “pop” for me, mainly in part because there’s nothing that sets them aside from other back-from-the-dead-for-revenge films. Again, this is strictly from my point-of-view, so you’ll have to check the film out for yourself to see if you agree.
Still, DEAD GIRLS is fun. I particularly like the sorority sisters segment. Back in college, I knew several girls in sororities, and believe me: they acted A LOT like some of these girls. Thus, when the revenge starts to happen in this short, I broke out in a smile. I am on the fence about recommending the film as a whole, however…I think it’s one you just have to check out to see if you like or not. It’s available now on DVD and On Demand.