Four college girls decide to move out of the dorms and into a rental home off campus. The house is perfect and they all seem happy with it but of course nothing is ever perfect. Soon their ideal home becomes their prison as they become trapped in the house after their landlord reveals himself to be a demon who wants to feast on their souls.
"4 Dead Girls: The Soul Taker" is another title to be released by Breaking Glass Pictures and, much like "As Night Falls", I had not heard about it until I received a screener. Of course, after the debilitating viewing experience that was "As Night Falls", I was very hesitant about going into "4 Dead Girls". Granted the movies are made by different people and aren't connected in any way, but still, I was left traumatized after my previous experience with a movie where I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know! But, as they say, the show must go on…goddammit.
The movie is about four college girls who decide to rent a house together in order to enjoy their youthful freedom without the watchful eyes of their school or their parents. All seems well until the landlord, Devlin Chito, reveals himself to be an ancient demon -- a Nalusa Chito -- that feeds on the souls of evil women. Trapped in the house, the girls who were once friends are pitted against one another when Devlin announces that the winner will have their soul spared.
It seems that "4 Dead Girls" was an idea born out of budget restrictions since it only had a handful of characters and took place in a single location. Nothing wrong with that, especially since there was an interesting concept within the movie that worked on paper. The final product, however, was less than desirable because of unlikable characters and wasting a great deal of time on characters that were needlessly bitchy. When Mike Campbell, playing as Devlin Chito, reveals himself to be a demon, what his intentions are and locking the girls up in the house, the movie finally started to click. The concept of it being more about the girls going up against one another instead of the demon made it more interesting and even reminded me a bit of the Japanese film "2LDK". There is a lot of room to play with that type of concept, especially when you look at how the characters are suppose to be friends.
Sadly this part of the story comes in too late in the movie and only sticks around long to make me realize I didn't completely dislike "4 Dead Girls". Instead it made me wish it had focused more on the girls turning against each other as opposed to everything else that happened in the movie. About 2/3 of the movie is spent with the girls in an everyday type of scenario which is meant to help us understand them as characters, obviously, but…they all were completely unlikable. All of the dialogue and interaction they had came off as them simply bickering and being bitchy. Even the Lily character, who was suppose to be the kind hearted protagonist, came off as rather unpleasant. Granted a plot point is that the demon feeds off of "evil women" so you could make the argument that they shouldn't be likable. That would make for a weak argument since the characters should have had a connection on some level. Instead you watch them snip at each other and wonder how in the world they could all possibly be friends.
There was an idea to "4 Dead Girls" that could have worked well and it started to turn around towards the end into something a bit more interesting, but not enough to make up for the dreadful beginning. For me, the writing behind "4 Dead Girls" showed a lack of understanding of the characters and what to do with all female characters since all they did was fight, bitch and basically be shitty to one another. Something that should have come in later when they were fighting each other in order to survive. They came off as unlikeable from the start and it seemed unbelievable that they would actually be friends, let alone housemates. It's hard to enjoy a movie that's a character piece where the characters are unintentionally unlikable.