Writer, Alice Evans (Brittany Murphy), thought that it would be a nice idea if her good friend, Rebecca (Tammy Blanchard), would drop her off at an old Victorian house she has rented for a week, so she could do some writing in relative solitude.
has had a very hard time leaving her abusive boyfriend, Ben, and she does have
a deadline to meet.
Therefore, this seems like the perfect plan, huh? Yes. At first it does. Everything appears to be going to just right for
Alice within this
plush mahogany abode. She unpacks her stuff. She does a spot of writing. And
she even touches base with Rebecca when she can, just so she knows that
everything's going fine with at her end.
However, as time ticks on, I am afraid to say that
Alice starts to
get frustrated, when she begins to notice some very strange things hovering
around her general lo-cal. A door slamming. A bath overflowing. And a voice
speaking within her mind too.
So in the vain effort to temper her own resolve,
Alice watches a
video tape she has found in this house belonging to the previous tenants, David
and Lucy Woods (Marc Blucas and Thora Birch).
It is a nice idea, isn't it? Watching a young couple living together, just like how
is living with Rebecca.
No. Afraid not. Because the more things spook Alice, and the more that she goes though David and Lucy's personal tape's, she gets a visual impression of what is happening to her and what has happened to the Woods are not so unfamiliar.
David gets jealous of Lucy going out.
Alice's computer screen seems
to melt. David clings onto Lucy more so when she is pregnant. Alice
takes her medication. David and Lucy have a fight because of his own
insecurities. Alice is haunted by a
vision of a dead Lucy. David. Lucy. Alice.
David. Lucy. Alice.
Though I suppose that is why what next transpires begins when
calls Rebecca for some information about the Woods. As deaths are caught on
tape - victims turn up in a right state - killers take a very long fall - and
nothing is what it seems at all.
OK now. Should I be very kind of 'Deadline' because it was one of Brittany Murphy's last movies? Or should I tell you what I really think about it instead? Hmmm. I know what I'd do. I compromise. And have a nice game of advantage / disadvantage.
(1) Now the best thing about this flick is how this story resolves itself. Well, it is one of those plot-twists at the end of a movie, which does make a lot of sense with the benefit of hindsight. It's there on show throughout this picture; it just that it becomes more apparent once the end-credits role. (2) I enjoyed the device of watching 'The Woods' video's in stages, because it did add a very incremental and suspenseful tone once this plot kicked into gear. (3) Listen, I am not just saying this because she is dead, but
does a really great job at playing this wiped-out and sullen writer.
Truthfully, at times she looks just so sick, that I wanted to put my arms
around her and give her a big hug. Also, a big shout-out goes to the others in the
cast as well. Tammy plays 'mumsy' very well. Thora has a very pleasant and
understated way about her performance. And Marc is not just a pretty boy, he
can really act too.
(1) This film starts off on a really-really-really slow pace, and for the first twenty minutes or so, you are wondering to yourself if this flick has developed into a silent movie. Honestly, I would say that hardly that much dialogue is spoken as soon as
character enters the house, except for a few mumbled conversations here and
there. (2) Although by in large I did enjoy 'The Woods' video inserts, I would
have much preferred it if it was always from 'their camera's' point of view. You see, at times 'the movie camera's' perspective did somewhat make this alternate element not so alternate. This is a slight nag though. (3)
One of the main flaws with this film is that it can be slightly confusing on
occasion. Time becomes fractured. Plot-lines become merged. And certain
conversations are too hushed to become legible.
OK, so that's three a piece - yeah - sound's about right. Just like these relatable filmic facts: (1) This film premiered between the beginning of October and the beginning of December, 2009, in the
and the United States
respectively. Britney died on the 20th December of the same year. (2) Actress,
Tammy Blanchard, has played Gypsy Rose Lee on stage and Judy Garland on
television. (3) Thora Bitch starred in television commercials for 'Burger
King', 'Quaker Oats', 'Strip Gum', and 'California Raisins'. (4) Brittany
Murphy was half Italian, a quarter Irish and a quarter Eastern European. (5)
Director, Sean McConville, was a model-maker on the James Bond film 'Golden
Eye', a special effect technician on 'Star Wars Episode 1 - The Phantom
Menace', and he worked on numerous creative filmic projects since 1995. (6) Marc
Blucas is a basketball coach for a team of girls from a private Catholic high
school based in .
(7) Tammy called her daughter 'Ava' after Ava Gardner. (8) Thora has
reached a Blue Belt in Karate. (9) The film poster was recalled after Los Angeles, California Brittany's
death, because it depicted her character looking at a dead body lying in the
Overall, 'Deadline' is a so-so film really. I suppose you have to be in a very relaxed mood to watch it. But not too relaxed, or your might end up sleeping in the first twenty minutes. Moreover, it is very artistically directed, and needs to be watched more than once to be truly appreciated I think.
Nice film - good in places - bad in others.
THE RATING: B-