Saturday, November 28, 2009



DREAD is a film about fear that will be part of the AFTER DARK HORRORFEST 4. Stephen (Jackson Rathbone) and Cheryl (Laura Donnelly, INSATIABLE) are college students making a documentary about what people dread in life. In walks Quaid with this Fear Study idea that Stephen finds intriguing, and soon the Dread study begins. But Quaid wants to take it further; he wants Stephen and Cheryl to face their biggest fears and will do whatever it takes to make them face the “Beast.”

Stephen leads a pretty quiet and dull life with few friends. He has his own demons from his past, but he still keeps a grasp on reality. Initially, Stephen and Cheryl have no idea that their partner Quaid has witnessed his parents being murdered by an axe-wielding lunatic and now wants to make others experience his own personal horror.
The three set out to document people revealing their life’s most terrifying moments, but Quaid quickly grows bored with mere interviews and decides to take the study to a much more visceral level, causing all three to become vulnerable as they reveal their fears in front of the camera. Just as Stephen and Cheryl realize they have partnered with a madman, they also find themselves subjects of the hideous experiment they brought to life, "learning more about fear and dread than any human mind can stand."

Based on a Clive Barker short story, DREAD is one of the year’s most depressing horror films. It will be hard for anyone not to be affected by this little gem. It has a very good combination of horror, gore, suspense, and characters that you can actually care about. When DREAD begins to climb towards its horrific conclusion, you may well feel like the witness to an execution. A solid debut from director DiBlasi (producer of MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN), horror rarely comes as hardcore as this.

-Herb West