Film Review: BED OF THE DEAD (2016)

Film Review: BED OF THE DEAD (2016)

Jul 20, 2016

IMDb: Bed of the Dead (2016)
Director: Jeff Maher
Stars: Colin Price, Alysa King, Gwenlyn Cumyn

Black Fawn Films, the Canadian production house that has already given us Bite, In the House of Flies and Antisocial among others now releases Bed of the Dead (2016).

In a short time they’ve produced several high quality films; can they keep their streak alive? Starting with a wordless montage under the credits that gives some explanation as to how the titular piece of furniture came into existence. The film quickly fast forwards to the present where the bed now resides in Room 18 of the Anarchy Sex Club. Two couples rent the room from the reluctant girl at the desk and things quickly go from bad, (awkward attempts at group play), to worse when one of them is dragged under the bed by something unseen. Now trapped on the bed and subject to hallucinations drawn from their own fears and secrets the others must find a way to escape.

MV5BMjIzODk3NTI1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMDk3NDY3NzE@._V1_

Starting with a wordless montage under the credits that gives some explanation as to how the titular piece of furniture came into existence. The film quickly fast forwards to the present where the bed now resides in Room 18 of the Anarchy Sex Club. Two couples rent the room from the reluctant girl at the desk and things quickly go from bad, (awkward attempts at group play), to worse when one of them is dragged under the bed by something unseen. Now trapped on the bed and subject to hallucinations drawn from their own fears and secrets the others must find a way to escape.

The first feature as writer and director by cinematographer Jeff Maher, the film employs a non linear structure switching back and forth from the events of the previous night to the police investigating the aftermath. This is annoying and anticlimactic until with one brilliant twist Maher flips everything. Getting their hands on a cell phone and dialing 911 they are connected with the detective investigating their deaths. Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

On its face Bed of the Dead is an effectively tense and scary film with some nasty deaths, creepy images and very effective effects. Maher has obviously learned well from the films he’s worked on and knows how to build up the tension and deliver scares like an old pro. On a deeper level the film deals with issues of innocence, guilt and redemption. It’s this deeper trip into the character’s psyches that turns what could have been a riff on King’s The Raft into such a compelling film.

Of course for this to work the acting needs to be on point and convincing. Thankfully it is, especially Colin Price as Virgil a detective with his own demons and secrets who’s given a chance at salvation, one that comes with a high price. Alysa King also stands out as Sandy, the one person who is possibly undeserving of the wrath of whatever dwells under the bed.

Bed of the Dead continues Black Fawn’s winning streak and is a great debut for Jeff Maher. The ending is left open for a sequel and I’d be interested to find out more of the bed’s back story. Just who are those robed and hooded figures? Did the craftsman know he was working with wood from a cursed tree? And just what side of the good/evil line does the bed fall on? I’ll be picking this up when it’s released and I suggest you do too.

Trailer: