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Long Time Dead

Play It to Death 

Year: 2002 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

It must be so cool to be a movie monster. You get to have a really long sleep (usually ten thousand years, give or take) before the action of the film starts. Then, you get woken up by random silly people who are always doing something they shouldn't be doing. And then, joy of joys, you get to do what you do best: rip off heads, throw people off buildings and eat souls. Yum yum. And you usually get to look really weird, in the kind of way that kids across the globe would die to emulate (razor fingernails, hockey masks, big ol' hooks etc). Long Time Dead has all these elements in spades, although it's a matter of opinion as to how good the nasty thing looks.

You can tell this is a British horror film because, rather than living in nice suburban residences and going to school, the main characters live in dingy student digs (woo hoo!) and go clubbing and get stoned off their heads. How very English.

It doesn't really matter though, because in one respect kids on both sides of the Atlantic are very similar - they run and scream when things go wrong. After a night of debauchery, a group of student buddies find themselves in a bizarre deserted warehouse where they decide to (what else) crack out the old ouija board. As quick as you can say "ancient fire-demon", bad things are happening, students are dying, and you suddenly have absolutely no idea what's going on.

Long Time Dead is not high-art, and it never pretends to be. What it is is a rollicking good horror film. The atmosphere is constantly dark and dangerous; there is always the possibility of something nasty lurking round every corner, and this adds a real sense of palpable fear to the proceedings. The cast are, as is so often the case, monster fodder, though the gore is remarkably restrained for such a film - all the murders happen in gloom, though a toilet-cubicle savaging is extremely disturbing. A few recognisable faces - Matthew Rose from Eastenders and the little kid from Witness (sadly all grown up now) help to enliven the proceedings.

This is a perfect Friday night film, if you want little more than a good, fun night out. There are no issues to think about, no depressing Oscar-worthy depictions of illness and despair, just a monster, lots of silly kids, and a great deal of style.

Greg Taylor

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Screenings of this film:

2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)
2001/2002 Summer Term (35mm)