Scared Hitless: Dead Before Dawn

The most successful horror movies pale in box office to marginally successful films of other genres. Horror video games will never break sales records set by first-person shooters. And horror novels will generally be relegated to lower places on the bestsellers lists. This column is not going to say that horror doesn’t have it’s hits. It’s just that, in the grand scheme of things, in comparison to other genres, horror fans are generally left Scared Hitless.

It’s a holiday week here in the States, and, to be completely honest, I’ve actually been somewhat slacking in my duties. What this actually means is that I haven’t consumed anything new (to me) of a horror nature in preparation for this week’s installment of Scared Hitless. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to add a post. Far from it. In fact, I’m going to randomly find a horror movie on Netflix, and I’m going to do a live blog of it. This is my first attempt at a live blog. I’ve done live tweeting before, but this will be new for me. So, with that in mind, please be gentle, and enjoy as I subject myself (and you, vicariously), to:




Admittedly, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this movie, but the description on Netflix, coupled with at least 2 stars in reviews, makes it seem like a worthwhile venture for late on the night before Thanksgiving (and yes, I did look a little for ThanksKilling, but didn’t spend too much time using the search feature). So let’s get this underway, shall we?

0:00:25 – “I’ll be right back” is the horror equivalent of “I’m just going to get cigarettes”, isn’t it?

0:00:45 – Oh, Dad is back. And scolding the kid from doing something interesting and exciting in the first minute. Guessing now that the urn makes a reappearance.

0:01:03 – Dad just slipped on the treacherous invisible banana peel. That urn really IS dangerous.

0:01:10 – Oh, wait. It was just a dream. Or a memory. Or a dremory. Even if that’s not a thing.

0:01:23 – Christopher Lloyd is “Gramps”. Of COURSE he’s excited about the annual Occultist Society awards.

0:01:37 – Oh, THAT’S why he’s excited. His very own trophy. Got it.

0:02:00 – Also, what year is this taking place? They still use corded phones?

0:03:05 – Total rebel. Needs to be reminded to wear his mouthguard before biking. Because he’s not your monkey, Mom!

0:04:38 – Obligatory classroom scene to show how quirky the student body is. Or at least, how quirky the main character and his friend are.

0:05:20 – Kevin from Kids in the Hall must have been paid based off of how many times he said “doodle”.

0:06:40 – Hey kid, remember Gramps wanting to get his trophy? No? Well, here’s a random guy walking past holding a trophy as a reminder.

0:07:50 – Popped collar AND mis-worn sunglasses? This guy’s dying first, right?

0:09:15 – The shop is called “The Occult Barn”. It’s two doors down from “The Occult Bath and Beyond”.

0:10:48 Hey, the urn is back! Just don’t get close enough to spit on it.

0:12:10 “Remember the rules, and you’ll be fine.” And starring in one of the shortest horror movies yet.

0:14:07 – Aw, Casper’s friends are making him look bad in front of his crush. But it’s okay, because she liked his doodle earlier.

0:15:11 Of COURSE he’s going to show off the urn. He’s got a lady to impress.

0:15:56 – Of COURSE he dropped the urn. Otherwise, again, shortest horror movie.

0:16:20 – I think Mug Guy just summed up the entire plot of the film. At least, I certainly hope so.

0:17:23 – The curse may have picked the worst creative writing group for this. At least they play “Yes, And” well.

0:19:30 – It’s always nice when “imminent doom” brings its own thunder storm.

0:22:10 – “Are you on the weed?” is always the question to ask when someone spends the afternoon turning their bedroom into a bunker. That, or “Are you on the meth?”.

0:22:15 – I think I’ve already lost track of how many penis metaphors have popped up so far.

0:25:28 – That football team negates the need for slo-mo on instant replay.

0:26:15 – Suddenly the entire conversation after the curse is starting to happen. And without a spoiler alert.

0:27:00 – Maybe Mug Guy won’t get anyone killed. He’s a lone wolf (with mugs).

0:29:29 – First a toilet brush, and now meatballs. If only Casper hadn’t left his hammer in his barricaded bedroom.

0:30:20 – Is that supposed to be a parody of Tucker and Dale?

0:33:07 – “I’m gonna go poop”. First logical action taken since the curse started working.

0:34:45 – Turns out Mug Guy (who’s name is apparently Seth) actually killed a bunch of people. But he’s still a lone wolf (now with a mug full of slushie).

0:35:20 – Good thing Becky not only had a crossbow, but was proficient enough to shoot at the head.

0:37:37 – Uh-oh. Gramps realized what you did to the urn, Casper. He’s never going to let you watch the store again.

0:37:50 – “Great Scott” uttered. Everybody drink!

0:41:00 – So you all know what happens when you make eye contact with people, and then you proceed to ALL make eye contact with the one guy who might be able to help? Great job, gang!

0:45:10 – The most occult of all weapons? Grenades. “And the number thou shalt count shall be three”.

0:46:00 – Clearly, “zemons” can be avoided by busting out fierce faces and dance moves.

0:47:25 – Patrick, who has done very little so far to help, now wants to drop the “dead weight”. He really has to be the first of the crew to die, right?

0:48:40 – Points for knowing horror cliches! Points taken away from Patrick, who clearly didn’t.

0:49:15 – Even as zemons, people can drive. Good to know.

0:50:40 You’re killing people with eye contact, but still want to pay for gas. And they say this generation has their priorities messed up.

0:52:34 – Seth learns the hard way that a mesh screen doesn’t actually prevent eye contact. If only he’d gotten cheesy sunglasses like Casper and Charlotte.

0:54:53 – Everyone else got totally seductive about dissecting toads, right?

0:59:30 – So, wait, Lucy’s terrible “seduction” idea actually worked? Worst curse ever.

1:01:50 – Zemons. Total cock-blockers after you’ve run over your professor, am I right?

1:04:49 – Yeah. Thanks for clarifying exactly what happened to Dazzle. That’s an unpleasant image right there. The old-timey music makes it work, though.

1:07:58 – Oh, Lucy. Not all gentlezemons prefer blondes. But Becky will totally chastise him.

1:08:47 – Good thing zemons can be broken up with, though.

1:10:16 – Seth’s on track for a happy ending. Not like Dazzle’s. Or his bees.

1:13:22 – The sun’s coming up soon. Maybe wait to bury your friend until after you break the curse.

1:15:33 – Oh, tricksy magic books, keeping extra details hidden until the most inconvenient moment.

1:17:36 – Hey, look, a monkey wrench with mere minutes left before sunrise!

1:19:05 – In a move that surprises nobody, things don’t look great for our heroes.

1:24:18 – Credits roll, after a time reversal to set things back to right. Oh, and a sequel hook attempt.

1:26:57 – Now it’s truly complete. A rap synopsis of the film over the end credits!

That was a fun experience, and, honestly, a fun little movie. It certainly never spent a moment taking itself too seriously, which was clearly the plan from the beginning. Sometimes, fun is exactly what you need, even out of your horror. Have a happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


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