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I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD (2018)

Directed by Chad Archibald
Written by Chad Archibald & Jayme Laforest
Starring Aidan Devine, Ava Preston, Jess Salgueiro, Brandon McKnight, Michael Reventar, Ari Millen, Moe Jeudy-Lamour, Tavaree Daniel-Simms, Raffaele Brereton, Adam Christie, Pastel Supernova, Matthew Mease, Megan Soo, Justin Kowalski-Adams, David D’Lancy Wilson
Find out more about this film here and here

From the writer/director of BITE and THE HERETICS, Chad Archibald, comes a crime thriller that is equal parts touching and terrifying. But don’t worry, there is also a lot of horror to be found in I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD.

Aidan Devine plays William, an outsider who has become infamous in unsavory circles as a man who can get rid of dead bodies. His impish daughter Gloria (Ava Preston) longs to leave the cold and depressing farm her father lives on and misses her deceased mother. When a gaggle of gang members make their way to the farm to drop off a few bodies to burn, William is forced to take the task in hopes to use the money to finally give his daughter the life she deserves and quit the body disappearing business for good. But one of the bodies (Jess Salgueiro) isn’t as dead as she seems, which tosses a pretty big crowbar into William’s machinations. Meanwhile, the spirits of the dead William has burned in his basement acid vats may not be resting so peacefully.

I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD relies heavily on strong performances from it’s leads. Devine is gruff yet endearing as William. The effectiveness of the film hinges on the relationship between him and his daughter Gloria and both actors play their part convincingly. Preston is a smart mouthed kid, but never becomes annoying to as kids often do in horror films. She also doesn’t have all of the answers and plays as a kid who is understandably confused with the situation she has found herself in. Evening out the lead trio is Salgueiro, who is herself a conflicted player in this whole situation; transforming from captive to family member in a believable way. I also want to mention a truly menacing performance by Ari Millen as one of the more deranged members of the gang. He’s got a big career ahead of him as a scary bastard.

If there is a qualm I have with I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD, it is that it is a bit uneven in terms of the use of the supernatural elements of the film. There are hints that this crime drama will have some spooky happenings pretty early on, but I almost don’t think they are necessary to the story itself. I wonder what this movie would be like without them. These appearances of the tormented souls that pop onto the screen are horrifying and I jumped a few times at them. But still, the performances and relationship stuff are what make this film stand out as one of Archibald’s most achieved films to date. I can’t say that I get choked up at the end of most horror films, but that is the case here. I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD is a blend of family relationship drama, crime story, and horror that ends up being wonderfully unique by the end.