M.L. Miller here! Welcome horror fans to my Annual countdown of the Best of the Best in Horror! Running every day through October, this list will culminate with the best horror film of the year announced on October 31st. Some of these films can be found in theaters—others have unfortunately only seen the light of day On Demand, DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films yourselves. I’ll also provide a “Worth Noting” secondary film suggestion in a separate post. These are films that stood out or just missed being on the list by a skosh—a little extra for those who can’t get enough horror.
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2018 and September 30, 2019 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released this October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like DOCTOR SLEEP or ZOMBIELAND 2 just yet.
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#27 I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD
Chad Archibald is no stranger to my countdown. Most of his films twist expectations and subgenres. If you watch EJECTA, BITE, THE HERETICS, and now I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD, you’ll see the development of a fantastic filmmaker. I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD is his most heartfelt and soulful film to date, yet it still manages to deliver the chills and thrills. Released on May 3, 2019, here’s my review of I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD! Available on Blu-ray/DVD, On Demand, and digital download from Black Fawn Films and the Shout Factory!
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
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 its 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.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#27 – I’LL TAKE YOUR DEAD
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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