Rating ½

Written and directed by Sean McConville

Starring Brittany Murphy (Alice Evans), Thora Birch (Lucy Woods), Marc Blucas (David Woods), Tammy Blanchard (Rebecca) and Claudia Troll (David’s Mother)

While she recovers from a traumatic psychological breakdown, Alice Evans takes up residence alone in an old isolated house to concentrate on writing a screenplay to meet a tight deadline. When strange things start to happen and she hears noises at night she investigates and finds a box full of MiniDV tapes, a filmed record of the daily lives of Lucy and David Woods, previous occupants of the house. As she watches the tapes she learns of the terrible events that took place there.


It is difficult to know what to say about ‘Deadline’, except to comment that I can still not quite believe how bad it was. This is truly dreadful film that abjectly fails in everything it sets out to do. I know very little about Brittany Murphy, but nothing in previous films I have seen (for example, ‘The Prophecy II’ and ‘Cherry Falls’, neither of which is especially good) prepared me for the awfulness of her performance here. I remain undecided if it was a terrible piece of acting or if she is simply the victim of the mindboggling direction by the film’s writer Sean McConville. Thora Birch and Marc Blucas, two competent and likeable performers, fare marginally better, but only because they have far less screen time.

Maybe I am being unfairly critical of the film, but I came away from watching it thinking it was rotten.

Review posted 21 November 2009


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