Film Review: BEFORE I DIE (2016)

Film Review: BEFORE I DIE (2016)

Feb 17, 2017

IMDb: Before I Die (2016)
Director: The Brothers Freeman
Stars: Robert McKeehen, Michael J. Prosser, Nouel Riel

Before I Die is a film directed by The Brothers Freeman. It is a film with an interesting concept that didn’t manage to go anywhere. Since it is a low-budget indie film, it is hard to be too critical. There is, however, plenty of room for growth.¬†The story is intriguing. It involves spiritual horror, haunting’s, and a claustrophobic sense of psychological terror. Sadly, the positive aspects are fairly inconsistent.

I liked the haunting beginning and nihilistic end. It was, however, incredibly difficult for me to get there. At 105 minutes, it is about twenty minutes too long. Pacing is usually pretty easy to criticize, which is why I try to avoid it; but, in this film it is glaring and unavoidable. The movie feels painfully slow in the middle third. This speaks to directing and editing, which can always be improved with experience. So while I don’t love this one, it definitely isn’t bad enough to write these guys off just yet.

The other boring aspect of the film is the acting. It stars Robert Mckeehen, Michael J. Prosser, and a bunch of people that you know nothing about. Many of the characters seem to be playing the same oddly detached roles. Sadly, none of them are very good at it. Most of the time they are unconvincing and boring, not detached and creepy; which I can only assume is what they were attempting to portray. These performances also carried out a few subplots to slow and predictable ends. I really think some twists, brutality, and originality could have saved this script. I am not a screenwriter, and I appreciate anyone that can make a film. I just can’t love them all though.

This one was sadly one that started off with a decent amount of potential, at least it did on paper. The execution, however, could use some help. We are actually in a day and age where smaller movies are¬†getting opportunities to be seen. Whether they can get funded or make their money back is a completely different question. This is the type of film that doesn’t stand out enough to make it noticeable in a Netflix queue. I don’t think they needed to be extreme, exploitative, or vile to be recognized, although that has worked for people in the past. I just think they could work on their scares, performances, and pacing in the future.