The critical blurb on the cover of Damned by Dawn is difficult to miss: “Sick of waiting for Evil Dead 4? Check out Damned by Dawn.” It’s credited to a website called Quiet Earth. As is all too often the case, this blurb was taken out of context. A few clicks of the keyboard lead to a short article that, at least when it was written, reveals nobody at Quiet Earth had seen the movie, and they’d only viewed the trailer. It’s not their fault they came up with a line that someone in a marketing department latched onto, and I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Quiet Earth’s full review, but in the meantime, here’s my take.
A young woman named Claire (Renee Willner) and her boyfriend Paul (Danny Alder) go to visit her dying “Nana” (Dawn Klingberg) on her deathbed, in a remote, rural area of Australia. The grandmother’s kindly manner is betrayed by her appearance. She’s got long, stringy hair and sunken, bloodshot eyes – positively witchlike. Only a granddaughter could love this creature that appears to have been carrying the weight of death itself with her for many a year. She tells Claire not to interfere with her impending passing or the spirit that’s coming to claim her soul. Obviously, Claire doesn’t quite understand what the old broad means, nor does she know what the urn the woman has passed on to her is all about. It doesn’t take long for the Banshee (Bridget Neval) to appear for Nana, and with her are dozens of scythe-wielding, undead minions. Claire, Paul, her father, and a couple others destined to be spirit fodder have quite the situation on their hands.
If you go into Damned by Dawn expecting a classic film of the Evil Dead type, you’re bound to be disappointed, and that’s why blurbs like the one mentioned above can do little movies like this more harm than good. On the other hand, there’s no question the filmmakers seem influenced by Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead...
Read the rest of this Blu-ray review by clicking here and visiting Bullz-Eye.