Title: Bed of the Dead (Fantasia 2016 review)

Also known as:

Year: 2016

Genre: Horror

Language: English

Runtime: 88 min

Director: Jeff Maher

Writer: Jeff Maher & Cody Calahan

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4730706/

Two couples check in to a hotel, with the purpose to have a naughty night together. They end up in a room with a dark history: room 18. The room has a huge antique bed. The size is perfect for what they are there for, but this haunted bed has other plans.

Our thoughts:
There are some movies that feature a scene where someone is swallowed by a bed or something to that extent, but when it comes to strictly "killer beds", we all have a title on our minds that we'd much rather not think about too much. "Death Bed: The Bed That Eats" is a fascinating piece of cinema, but not a very good movie. Of course, it does prove that despite the current trend of doing ridiculous, over-the-top horror movies (like SyFy does), there was a time when horrible ideas were done somewhat seriously. This is why I love what "Bed of the Dead" is doing: it's a stupid premise, but it doesn't treat it as such, and what we get is something that feels like it comes straight out of a Stephen King collection. "Bed of the Dead" is made by people from movies like "Antisocial", "Exit Humanity", "Septic Man" and "Bite", which are all movies that actually succeed pretty well despite either being silly or somewhat unoriginal ideas. Surely that's proof of talent?

Four people check in to a hotel and manage to get room 18, a room where murders and suicides have happened in the past. What they don't know is that the huge antique bed is actually haunted, and once you touch the bed you can't get away from it. The bed knows your darkest secrets and punishes you for it. What starts as four people wanting to have a foursome, ends in more than just la petite mort.

"Bed of the Dead" could easily have been a dumb movie that simply wants to show you bizarre murders by a bed. At times it is, but luckily we have a solid (entertaining) mystery to wrap around it all. While the people are stuck in the bed, we see the investigation with the police after the fact. The police arrive in a room with a burnt bed and several bodies that have died in odd ways. This eventually ties together with the night of the murders in a fun way. We're not talking about some groundbreaking twist or anything, but it keeps us curious and makes the entire thing have a bigger purpose. I'm glad I can watch a new movie in 2016 named "Bed of the Dead" that is not just making fun of the absurdity.

If you've seen the trailer then you know what to expect. We get some truly great effects and an expected blood bath, but you also have to realize that the movie has more to offer. The main characters (the cop and one of the girls) are very capable of keeping us intrigued despite a somewhat silly premise, and that's important. We don't care about everyone that dies, of course, but there's enough care put into the writing of the characters that we actually want at least a few of them to survive.

The cinematography helps making this a much more competent film than it could have been. The shots are great and actually builds a haunting atmosphere from the beginning (when we see the history of the bed). The captivating cinematography puts just enough focus on the evil of the bed to make it feel like a "character", but never to make it feel dumb.

Don't mistake my positive review of "Bed of the Dead" as me being pretentious about what it all means. It's still a silly idea, but it is executed very well so that we don't laugh about it. It's serious in a way that many great '80s horror movies were. "Bed of the Dead" actually never even gets unintentionally cheesy, which is impressive. I am sure you can pull a few deeper meanings from the movie, but if that's actually what the point is I don't know. At least I am not going to do that, as I'm not capable to. Instead, appreciate this as an entertaining, interesting horror movie.

Positive things:
- Fun and silly idea, but never executed as something stupid.
- Great cinematography to complement the serious tone.
- We actually want Alysa King's character to survive.
- Clocks in at a perfect runtime just under 90 minutes.

Negative things:
- It's somewhat predictable.
- Probably won't be a movie I remember too much from in a few years.

Gore: 3/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2.5/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 1/5

We watched this movie thanks to:
Fantasia International Film Festival 2016

Reviewed by:


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