Monday, October 26, 2009

Deadgirl (2008)

Review #0006

A typical pair of high school fuck-ups are spending the afternoon in an abandoned asylum, drinking their misery away and breaking stuff up, when they inavertedly stumble upon the titular "deadgirl". Locked away in a disaffected basement, she lies naked, tied to an operating table, but very much alive. In fact, she is immortal, a zombie remnant of medical experiences past. One of the boys, mind you, sees this as a God-given opportunity to lose his bothersome virginity. His friend disagrees however, and so the story starts to unfold around their contradicting opinions about love and sex. Right off the bat, a note to the die-hard genre fan: the horror elements in the film only serve to contextualize what is essentially a very dark, yet very relevant coming-of-age film. The zombie therein is merely the catalyst of teenage desire. She represents a dark passageway toward adulthood, which only the cynical and disenchanted are likely to cross. And although the film covers some new grounds in regards to zombie rights (by exposing the sadistic pimping of deadgirl), its efficiency lies less in updating an overcrowded sub-genre per se, as in demonstrating the protagonists' nihilism, which in turn constitutes the real horror onscreen. At times, the film even borders dangerously on the psycho thriller. Nonetheless, it is a tight and cruel story of youth with the balls to push the envelope into the dark corners of teenage psyche. The result is truly a film of its era, at once an hybrid, and an expose on nihilism, and the degradation of human relationships in the face of individualism. An examplary teen film.