Movie Review: Groundhog Day Meets The Underworld in ‘The Deaths of Ian Stone’

20 Aug
2010

The Deaths of Ian Stone was released in 2007 as part of the After Dark Horror Fest 8 Films To Die For and directed by Dario Piana (who is directing The Lost Boys: The Thirst). I found The Deaths of Ian Stone on Fearnet Free on Demand (my go-to place for horror movie watching when I’m in the mood for on demand gore). I am usually disappointed in half of the films I find because they’re just so silly and the story lines are so preposterous or over-used. I wasn’t expecting to “get into” this dark, horror tale, of a guy, Ian Stone (Mike Vogel) who life ends (by murder) at exactly the same time each day and begins anew the next.

Thinking I found a hidden gem in a low-budget horror film, I was excited and intrigued by the interesting science fiction-like concept. Finally something different! I was in fact correct in my assumption but found it poorly executed. I say this only because it has a SyFy Channel air about it and I find movies on that channel amateurish. Maybe I’m spoiled.

The only thing that remains constant in Ian Stone’s “lives” is his girlfriend Jenny (Christina Cole) from his first life in college. But she doesn’t remember him in his new lives. In every new life he is being hunted by dark creatures that can turn into human form, who want him dead for reasons unknown, until more than half way through the film.

One such creature/human is Medea, played by Jaime Murray, (Dexter’s psycho ex-girlfriend, Lila Tourney, on the series of the same name), so we all know she plays crazy a little too well. Her performance in this film was over the top, but so was her turn as Lila.

Certain scenes reminded me of Butterfly Effect in the sense that every time Ian Stone wakes up after being murdered, something has changed drastically about him in his new life. In other words it gets worse and worse. One could even say this film is like “Groundhog Day” of the underworld but without the humor.

Ian’s main focus throughout the film is trying to figure out who these creatures are, why they want to constantly murder him and protecting his girlfriend Jenny. One key to it all is remembering who he really is.

SyFy Channel movie distain aside, I did enjoy this film and just wish it had a bigger budget because it could have been badass, as opposed to not that bad at all. If you have Fearnet on Demand you can watch it now, if not, it’s worth the rental.

Rated: R

Running Time: 87 minutes

Rating: 6/10

The film’s red band trailer…

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Review originally written for Open Book Society.

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