before I diParade Deck Films
2016
NR

Dammit.

Dammit dammit dammit dammit.

Look, I’m not going to mince words, here. It’s been a long time since I’ve been angry for having watched a movie. Indifference? Yes. Irritation? Yepper. Insulted? Plenty of times. Been reduced to madness-induced laughter? I call those “Thursdays”. But a movie that was so badly made that, once the end credits ran, all I can think of is to do violent things to the movie for having teased me with promises it never intended to keep. Or, at least write a very terse review of it for my blog.

I believe the last movie to do that was 2000’s Lost Souls. Well, that has been dethroned and replaced with this movie we’re discussing right now: Before I Die.

Before I Die happens to be one of those movies that are free streaming with my Prime account. You better believe I’m gonna get as much mileage out of that as I can. But, sometimes that means being duped into watching a movie like this because the movie poster art and descript blurb made it sound interesting. Here, let me reproduce the descript from Amazon, and tell me if this doesn’t sound the least bit tantalizing:

“Strange spiritual obsessions begin to unearth age-old secrets in a small Northwest town, leading a pastor to suspect that all might not be as idyllic as he first imagined and personal threats await anyone who dares confront them.

I mean, sure, it’s kind of a generic sounding horror premise, one that has been done since Hawthorne and Poe’s time, but at least it wasn’t another “teenagers trapped in a haunted asylum” or what have you movie these low-budget straight-to-video movie makers seem to favor.

What I got instead, was something that was ineptly made on all levels. The movie starts at a potluck gathering in a Congregational style church basement, and for 110 minutes of the movie’s nearly 2-hour run time, it maintains that level of excitement throughout. The movie just drags on and on and on, with a story that has less to do with horror, and more to do with a PBS drama, with some lame attempts at “oooh, spooky shenanigans afoot!” thrown in to remind us that we are, in fact, watching a horror movie. The acting is amateurish at best, and is so wooden you’ll be picking splinters out of your brain for days after. The effects are…well, there are no effects, really. The plot is so meandering and at times confusing that the big “twist” reveal seems more of an afterthought tacked on.

Watching Before I Die did the impossible: it made m want to watch the television show 7th Heaven for some excitement. To say that I was disappointed with this movie is a gross understatement. Avoid this movie like the festering blob of undigested guacamole dip that it is.