Director – Dario Piana
Cast – Mike Vogel, Jaime Murray, Christina Cole, Michael Feast, Charlie Anson, Michael Dixon, George Dillon, Marnix Van Den Broeke
Release Year – 2007
Reviewed by John of the Dead
The Horrorfest films we have been exposed to have mostly been mediocre at best, but this is one of the few films to stand out from the slew of mediocrity. The Deaths of Ian Stone gives us a unique plot that I really have not seen employed in the genre, and coupled with some very cool effects from horror FX maestro Stan Winston this flick comes out a positive watch.
Mike Vogel(The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Cloverfield) stars as Ian Stone, an all-American male who is brutally killed each day by a group of violent pursuers. Each time he is killed he awakes in a different life, and things once again get awry for Ian when he remembers the events that occurred in his previous life. The cycle is ongoing, and the closer he gets to the truth behind what is going on, the more times he has to die to find it.
Don’t you just love it when you come across a horror film that gives you a story you rarely, if ever, see used? The Deaths of Ian Stone is not a magnificent piece, but right from the get-go we are thrown into a storyline that really is truly horrific in nature, especially when you put yourself in Ian Stone’s shoes.
The idea of Ian being killed everyday for reasons unknown to him is an awesome conflict to watch, and I commend writer Brendan Hood(They) for delivering such a sweet premise. To make matters even cooler his deaths are not painless, and come at the hands of some maniacal beings with powers beyond our world. Because he is thrown into another life after every one of his deaths, this flick comes with many twists and turns and takes us to many unique settings because of that. At a runtime of 88 minutes, the pacing is fantastic, and comes much in part of this film’s ever-developing plot. The background information on what is going on to Ian was interesting and definitely made for a unique watch.
Direction-wise Dario Piana did a positive job with this one, giving us some very dark and moody atmosphere throughout the film. We get some awesome looking antagonists in the film that despite their heavy dose of CGI came off as pretty sweet in their killing methods, most likely thanks much to Stan Winston’s FX company. As I mentioned earlier, the pacing is great, but this film does tend to lose “it” towards the end of the second act. I blame this mostly on execution, namely regarding the usage and acting job of our lead antagonist Medea(Jaime Murray; Botched), which I did not find as a credible character at times thanks to how she was employed. Other than that, this flick comes off pretty solid in the end.
Overall, this is a cool watch and definitely one of the better Horrorfest films. We get a unique plot that I have never truly seen used in the genre, and positive direction gives us some sweet antagonists and genuine action.