Decent First Time Brit Horror…

Young, High and Dead, is a Brit indie horror, written and directed by cherry popper, Luke Brady, that brings in some genuinely talented actors. It’s about a group of five twentysomethings who decide to get high on a camping trip but come across a psycho who wants their blood. “Again?!” I hear you cry. Sadly, I write that exact premise a couple of times a week, and while Young, High and Dead, wasn’t exactly originality in the making, it did have something a little extra over the competition and was better made than loads I’ve seen this year alone. This one had the sexy Hannah Tointon in it. Nuff said.

Young, High and Dead
Written & Directed by
Luke Brady
Hannah Tointon, Louisa Lytton, Philip Barantini
Release Date
31 October 2013
Ed’s Grade: C+

The fact that Young, High and Dead is low-budget is abundantly clear but you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise based on the acting. These are mostly seasoned performers who are well enough known in Britain, and do an admirable job playing scared, stoned or just plain pissed off. It also looks as though the cast have met at one time or another while appearing in either The Bill or Eastenders, both of which are popular in the UK. I couldn’t find out what the budget was and I’m not even going to try to guess, so assuming it’s as low as they come I’ll base my criticism on that.

I had only two real problems with Young, High and Dead, but those can be put down to first time jitters, like the sound being a tad mishandled and not used to full effect. The actual soundtrack (plenty used rumbly air-raid siren kinda thing) was fine but didn’t hit its mark or fade in time when the excitement was over, spoiling a lot of the tension built up by the acting. It was also a bit on the loud side. The only other thing was the pacing, as I was starting to get bored waiting on the fun to begin. Hannah Tointon and Louisa Lytton can only keep a guy interested for so long when not a lot of horror is going on in the horror-film. It certainly took its sweet time getting there.
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The acting was definitely realistic and I don’t think I’m wrong in my assumption that the blokes didn’t have to study much for this gig. I myself have NEVER inhaled but the obligatory campfire chat while being stoned and hitting the giggles was spot on. The problem is; when you are sober and sit with a crowd of drunks you feel left out and bored, and that’s kinda how I felt.

The story wasn’t anything special, although, having the murdering paedophile as the psycho was at least a teensie bit different for a Brit horror, and helped when the can of whoopass was eventually opened. I don’t think the twist was twisty enough for die-hard horror buffs, but the occasional viewer should get a kick out of it. I also remember while watching the pub scene near the start, waiting on a yokel warning them they were “all doomed,” by someone like the late Brian Glover, he of, An American Werewolf in London, fame.

If you’re in the mood for a horror that’s well acted and has a good ending, and you can also stand a bit of waiting on the punch-line, then look no further than Young, High and Dead. It does exactly what it says on the tin.

Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer

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