The Neon Dead is the perfect example of a horror movie that favours imagery over story and characters. While it looks pretty damn amazing (most of the time) its barebones plot leaves you feeling cold by time the credits roll.
Now upon hearing that name you might wonder if this is movie is somehow linked to The Neon Demon that came out the year before. The answer is no. This was originally called Invasion of the Undead but the name change is clearly to try and link the two. Don’t fall for it, The Neon Demon is a pretty poor film (read our review here) and The Neon Dead isn’t much better.
This low budget effort from writer/director Torey Haas sees a woman (Marie Barker) contact two young paranormal (Greg Garrison/D. Dylan Schettina) exterminators to help her rid her house of zombies/demons/ghosts. Its not quite clear just what they are and the constant argument that ensues throughout the movie over just what they are is the film’s idea of ‘comedy’.
These are the sons of Z’athax & they can be defeated pretty easily. All you need is some simple store-bought table salt. An easy job for the duo but what they don’t know is something far worse and far more terrifying is behind all of this.
The Neon Dead is a deeply flawed horror comedy but it’s not lacking charm thanks to the likable characters and great costumes and effects. The acting is pretty solid too with Garrison in particular revealing some talent as the sensible one of the two.
What really stands out in The Neon Dead, as mentioned a few times so far, are the effects. The movie employs bright and vibrant colours to give it a unique look and it comes across as loving homage to the 80s.
What isn’t so great though is the thinly stretched plot that is wrapped around characters with little growth. It’s only around 80 minutes long but yet the pacing still feels uneven making for some noticeably slow moments.
Sure, it doesn’t take itself too seriously which works in its favour overall but it certainly seems as though there is a really good horror movie here trying to get out of an average one.
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The Neon Dead
The Final Score - 5/10