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Right To Die (2007)

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Movie Connections:
Masters Of Horror: Season 2
> The Damned Thing (2006)
> Family (2006)
> The V Word (2006)
> Pro-Life (2006)
> Sounds Like (2006)
> Pelts (2006)
> The Screwfly Solution (2006)
> Valerie On The Stairs (2006)
> Right To Die (2007)
> We All Scream For Ice Cream (2007)
> The Black Cat (2007)
> The Washingtonians (2007)
> Dream Cruise (2007)
Director:
Rob Schmidt Rob Schmidt
Starring:
Julia Benson Julia Benson
Martin Donovan Martin Donovan
Anna Galvin Anna Galvin
Corbin Bernsen Corbin Bernsen
Robin Sydney Robin Sydney

6.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Horror, Supernatural Horror
After walking away from an auto accident that leaves his wife in a coma and on life support, the distraught Cliff Addison finds himself in a living hell in which he must decide to let his wife die. But the situation becomes more nightmarish and crazy when her vengeful spirit threatens to expose a dirty secret of his own. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: June 10, 2007
In my ever so humble opinion, horror films - or films in general - that are based on real world events almost always tend to turn out just a little better than those that are entirely fictional. Would you rather see a mindless serial killer who came to be courtesy of a guy behind a desk, or would you rather see a serial killer who is based on a real person go on a killing spree while imitating the real world deeds of the madman being paid "homage" to? The Masters of Horror series has taken this idea to the extreme with Right to Die, which is based on... well, do I even need to point out what this was based on? I doubt it, so let's just get down to business.

The storyline centers around a young couple - Abbey (Julia Anderson) and Cliff (Martin Donovan) - who are having some marital problems. What the exact problems are isn't revealed this early in the film, but it's obvious from the start that they're upset with one another. In an effort to discuss and eventually solve their problems, they decide to drive out to a remote cabin and spend the weekend together, and this is the event that sets the story as a whole into motion. You see, Cliff ends up getting the two of them into an accident, and although he walks away with only a bump on the head, his wife is horribly burned and disfigured. She's taken to the hospital where the doctors inform Cliff that the chances of her surviving this are slim, and even if she does, she'll never be the same person again and probably won't even be able to talk.

Cliff decides that pulling the plug and letting his wife die would probably be the most humane thing to do in this situation, and while the doctors agree with him, they inform him that he'll have to get an order from the lawyers letting them know that that is Abbey's final wishes. However, what Cliff doesn't bank on is the fact that when Abbey dies, her ghost will come back to haunt him as he quickly discovers when she dies for a few minutes before being resuscitated. Where it goes from there is for you to discover, but I will say that it's a damned interesting story.

Tackling a topic such as this had to take a set of balls, and to be honest, I didn't think that I'd enjoy it when I first read about it. Now, my main concern wasn't an ethical one, as I have no problems with topics such as this being made the focus of a film made for entertainment purposes; no, my main concern was that this episode would be nothing more than a platform upon which the filmmakers would preach their views on the subject. Were those filmmakers for pulling that tube or against it? I expected that question to be answered and for plenty of "proof" to be thrown at us as they backed up their position, but surprisingly, that wasn't the case at all.

What this film does is take the Terry Schiavo case along with the media hysteria and the bickering family members and places it firmly inside the horror genre - nothing more, nothing less. The film doesn't take a stand on whether or not the decision to let Terry - excuse me, Abbey - die is the right choice, nor does it try to beat us over the head just before the credits roll by showing us that the final decision was right or wrong. What we have here is simply a horror film that is based on a real world event, and that, my friends, is how this sort of thing should be done.

With all of that out of the way, how was the film itself? Personally, I enjoyed the hell out of it, even though it seems like I'm pretty much alone in that sentiment. For some reason, most of the other reviewers who covered this had a huge issue with it, and to be completely honest, I just don't see why. It tells a good horror story, had plenty of surprises, and featured some damned fine special effects (alright, some of the CGI was awful, but the actual blood and gore was excellent). The only reason that I can come up with which would explain the negative feedback would be the open-ended ending. Although what happens is pretty cut and dry, it's never actually shown and there are even hints that the obvious isn't what really happened; therefore, it's up to the viewer to come up with their own idea of what happened, and on a more subtle note, it allows the filmmakers to present this topic without actually taking a stance on the subject. Now, while I would have enjoyed seeing the movie wrapped up with a shower of gore or a massive body count as much as the next gorehound, ending it in this fashion was really the only way that they could have done it without taking a clear-cut stance on the subject... and to do that would have ruined the film as a whole.

When it comes to the Masters of Horror series, Right to Die is definitely one of the highlights of both season two and the series as a whole. There have been some duds along the way as well as some offerings that were decent if not very memorable, but this is exactly the sort of film that I envisioned way back when the series was first announced. 9/10.
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