Dread (2009) - After Dark Horrorfest 4

Genre(s): Horror
Lions Gate || R - 94 minutes - $19.98 || March 23, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-04-18

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Anthony DiBlasi
Writer(s): Anthony DiBlasi (written by)
Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Evans, Hanne Steen

Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Featurettes
  • Deleted Scenes

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (2.35)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish

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.::THE FILM::.

I was going to try and start off the review of Dread, the fifth in the After Dark Horrorfest 4 series, with a disclaimer saying that I wasnít going to say dread a bunch of times when it pertains to how awful the flick is after viewing said film. Then after watching the movie and how dreadful (1) that it was I canít honestly write a review without saying the word countless times. Sorry, but my thesaurus is broken so try to get through this review and Iíll make it as fun as possible.

Stephen (Jackson Rathbone) has an upcoming psychology paper due and is struggling to find a topic. Late one night after he steps out for a smoke he meets Quaid (Shaun Evans) who offers an idea for the paper: dread (2). Not really dread(3), but merely the idea to find out what people in the world fear the most and make them confront their fears by talking to a camera about the problem. Stephen recruits a fellow classmate and possible crush Cheryl (Hanne Steen) to help him out with the taping and recruiting of students.

The trio manages to interview many students, but all of them appear to be either incredibly lame or just not right for the paper. Then one day a somewhat goth student comes in with a made-up story and Quaid flips out and trashes the studio. Cheryl steps forward and lets everyone know her deep dark dreadful (4) secret that sheís kept inside her entire life. This proves to be vital for the paper, and both Stephen and Quaid tell their stories to the camera as well. But the problem comes when the dread (5) that they are facing may be overtaking their lives and preventing them from moving on. Quaid offers a different way to fix their dread (6) although his way may seem a little too violent for both Stephen and Cheryl. Can Stephen and Cheryl stop the madman that Quaid is, or will they succumb to their fears and dread (7)?

The acting here is worse than a first grade play. Stephen, Quaid, and the surprisingly hot Cheryl donít do much with their lines nor does it seem like they actually care about whatís going on around them. Quaid is clearly a psychopath yet they continue to hang out with him, get kidnapped, etc, until one of them disappears for a week and no one is wise enough to call the cops. Thereís also the addition of a student that Quaid kidnaps, mutilates, and nothing is done about it from the police or any other law enforcement what so ever. The kid gets a hole blown through his ears and not one person bothers to guard the hospital door? Are you kidding me? Where do these kids live, No Police Town?

Oh by the way, in case you didnít notice, this film is part of a horror series. Yeah, thereís absolutely nothing horrifying about this one other than the lame premise and bad story-telling from the cast. The whole idea of videotaping people to discover their inner fears is a horrible idea for a film to start with, and then how it ends is even worse. Thereís no real conclusion to the film that can be reached, as though even if or when their fears are quashed thereís no actual resolution given from the film that I could see.

Yeah this movie was pretty bad, even for this series. I happened to like previous series, but this one is just plain awful. The writing here is so bad, the script awful, and the characters so boring that I could have cared less who died or who lived in the end.


Facing the Fear (13 minutes): Yet again, your typical behind the scenes extra that dives into the making of the film and also the idea behind it. I found this to be way more interesting than the film itself, which I loathed with such a passion, so if youíre like me then maybe check this out instead.

Conversation with Clive Barker and Anthony DiBlasi (20 minutes): Clive Barker has always been someone Iíd like to meet and ask him why he put his name on that awful ďJerichoĒ game years ago, but alas I doubt that will ever happen. The two talk about the film, the idea for it, and many other things in this dreadfully (how many times have I used that? 8 now?) long segment.

Deleted Scenes (4 minutes): Finally, a few deleted scenes that were cut for pacing reasons or the fact that they arenít interesting can be viewed here if you so choose. Nothing here is worthwhile though so let me save you the time by saying donít bother.


Similar to the rest of the transfers in the series, thereís nothing really to write home about here. The colors are bland, outdated, and look fairly crappy. Grain, as is the norm for the series, is present in mostly every scene available, which does take a tremendous feat to accomplish for eight DVDís in a row. I canít honestly think of anything good to say about this track other than the fact the movie is mercifully short enough that you probably wonít notice the massive amounts of grain or discoloration in flesh tones that I did.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is flat and, similar to the transfer, severely outdated and bland. Thereís just no stopping these movies from setting a new low for horror films to easily jump over in my opinion, and trust me, thatís not an easy feat. There are literally zero action sequences to be had here so anyone looking to demo their sound system needs look elsewhere. I struggled to hear the characters in the film at multiple points throughout the movie, or as Iíve noted before, thatís not necessarily a bad thing. There was little to no surround sound usage the entire film, although there may have been one scene that did but if there was sorry, I donít remember it. Sporting an insanely low dialogue track and no surround usage is a one-way ticket to bad track land.


Dread is a boring, already been done before, mess of a film that in all honesty isnít scary nor entertaining. The plot is so stupid and the characters so mundane that it doesnít make a lick of sense. The technical package is below average and the crappy extras yet again make this one to stay completely away from.