Dead Time (2012)

When confronted by a film that has Leslie Grantham and Terry Christian as its top billing, to suggest it’s going to be less than adequate is comparable to shooting a whale in a thimble. However, we‘re not ones to back away from a ridiculously easy challenge.

Ahem…

Dead Time tells the rather overcooked story of a down on their luck Brummie band given one last chance by their record company to record a hit single and music video. Over the weekend. In an abandoned studio. With no mobile reception. See where this is going?

The script clearly comes from a gestation period  that involves slamming your head against the keyboard. When a groupie turns up dead within a few hours of everyone settling in, the decision is made that it’s probably for the best if everyone just cracks on with what they’re doing and, come Monday, call the police to tell them they’ve only just come across the body.

The body that’s in their recording studio. The recording studio they need to use to record things. That one. The one with the body in it.

This is one of the many elephant sized turds of logic we’re expected to swallow through its running time and declare ‘mmm, tastes like chocolate’. The recording studio is described as abandoned, but has brand new doors, fire exit signs and is described by its OWNER as being used frequently. However, he could just be a lying cock. After all, he does describe it as being miles away from anywhere, when a previous establishing shot puts it clearly next to a residential street.

The biggest insult to our intelligence comes in the form of the resolution. Dead Time has spent so much effort trying to convince you that it couldn’t possibly be any of our indie loving heroes, that when the killer is revealed, it defies all logic. Even when they pull back the curtain to reveal how it was all done, it’s still not convincing. Okay, yes, they were the one that killed the groupie, but then how come they were taking cocaine with everyone else at exactly the same time?! If the studio has ‘miles of corridor’ according to one snivelling future kebab, how did the killer get around so quickly. We sat angry, but patient, waiting for the second killer to appear ala Scream, but no… Apparently, he was just Usain Bolt. Not since the day we watched Scream Bloody Murder, The Matrix and Doctor Who in a row have we seen such a disregard to plausibility, physics and time.

We admit, not every horror film has to be clever. Even though films like Kill List and Cabin in the Woods exist, there is always room for schlocky fun. Just ask Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror) or Sam Raimi (Evil Dead Trilogy). What we won’t accept is having our intelligence insulted and, frankly, Dead Time hits just too many bum notes.

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