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The Deaths Of Ian Stone (2007)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Movie Connections:
After Dark Horrorfest II
> Nightmare Man (2006)
> Crazy Eights (2006)
> Mulberry Street (2006)
> Unearthed (2007)
> Borderland (2007)
> Frontière(s) (2007)
> The Deaths Of Ian Stone (2007)
> Tooth & Nail (2007)
> Lake Dead (2007)
Genres:
Horror, Sci-Fi Horror, Supernatural Horror
Director:
Dario Piana Dario Piana
Starring:
Mike Vogel Mike Vogel
Jaime Murray Jaime Murray
Christina Cole Christina Cole
Michael Feast Michael Feast
Charlie Anson Charlie Anson

5.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Tristan
Added: May 28, 2008
The 2007 After Dark Horrorfest seems to be a group effort this year, so I figured it was high time I slipped another one in. Aside from Frontiere(s) I haven't followed any of these films, so each one is going to be a complete surprise for me. The only thing I do know, is that very few of the 8, or 9 if you want to be picky about it, are receiving any praise. Well you can add one more to that list, as The Deaths of Ian Stone turned out to be a pretty good little film. I don't think it carries itself very well as a horror, as it's more of a psychological thriller, with some monsters thrown in for good mix. I'm quite pleased with myself for picking another one of the ADHF films that turned out to be worth watching. And to think, I only chose this one because I thought the cover art looked interesting.

Our movie opens right in the middle of a college hockey game, with seconds left on the clock. A player with the name Stone (Mike Vogel) is looking for an open shot while the clock ticks down the last couple seconds. He scores with two seconds left on the clock, but the goal isn't counted as the referee states that the clock stopped, however time did run out. This doesn't seem like much more than a jerk of a ref, but the stopping of time comes into play later in the film. Later that evening Ian is driving home, and comes across a body lying in the middle of the street by a railroad crossing. The thing attacks him, pinning him to the tracks while a train approaches. Just as Ian is killed he finds himself sitting at a desk in an office, with no recollection of the train incident. He goes home, only to be killed again and wake up as a cab driver. The only constants in every new life are Jenny (Christina Cole), a young woman who ranges from his girlfriend to his cab fare, and a mysterious man who tries to help Ian remember his past, and why he is being killed in every new life. We find out that this isn't the beginning of these strange events, but that they've been going on for an unmentioned amount of time. This sends Ian into a search for answers, leading him on a horrifying journey, one life at a time.

At first I thought the movie was going to be a bust. It started off pretty slowly, and while it did have its moments, it didn't really pick up until Ian started to realize what was going on, and this was his 3rd or 4th death into the movie. The one thing I was pleased about, was the variety and uniqueness of each death. It was not a repetitive sequence where you were just hoping it would end to get on with the story. Each kill did progress the story, and I felt that it moved along at a nice pace and didn't really lose my attention at any time. The creatures played a big part in that as well. At first you couldn't see anything more than shadows or various appendages on the screen. When they were finally revealed on the screen, they looked pretty damn good and used a nice combination of puppetry and CGI to bring them to life, thanks to Stan Winston Studios.

Mike Vogel - who most of you will recognize as the brother from Cloverfield - proved to be a great lead for this film. I always thought it a shame he had such a small role in Cloverfield, as he certainly had the acting ability to pull of a much larger role. Luckily he got his chance Ian Stone, and while there were a few moments I didn't believe his acting, overall he did a great job in portraying the fear and bewilderment of the titular character. Christina Cole also did a fantastic job as the sometimes girlfriend of Ian, and was did a solid job throughout the entire movie. Not too hard on the eyes as well. Like the film itself, neither of them were very interesting until they started realizing what was taking place. Once this occurred they really shone through as talented young actors and I suspect, for Vogel at least, that they will see a lot more roles in this particular genre.

I'm not sure why the After Dark Horrorfest is catching such a bad rap this year. The only two entries I've seen have been great. Maybe I just got lucky with my choices, but The Deaths of Ian Stone was infinitely better than most of the 2006 films. I definitely recommend this movie, as it falls under the categories of several different styles of horror, and manages to pull them off nicely. If it weren't for a few moments of spotty acting, I would give this an almost perfect, but when you review movies like this, you have to be firm. A 9/10 from myself, and I'm pretty sure most of you fellow horror fans will agree with me on this.
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bluemeanie #1: bluemeanie - added 05/28/2008, 10:44 PM
Shit. I was just about to send my full review of this one in, but you did it justice, for the most part. I enjoyed this film quite a bit, partially because I think Mike Vogel is one of the sexiest men on the planet. I also loved the premise, though I wish Stan Winston would have directed it, as was the original plan. It lost me a little at the end with the whole creature battles. But, otherwise, a decent little horror/thriller. 8/10.
Tristan #2: Tristan - added 05/28/2008, 10:55 PM
Actually yeah, the creature battle kind of blew it for me as well. I forgot about that while writing this though.
Also forgot to mention the Matrix meets Butterfly Effect thing it had going too.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 05/29/2008, 03:24 AM
The first thing I said when I finished watching was, "Wow. That had this whole "Matrix" thing working". I think Stan Winston actually directing it would have made a big difference. He could have added some nice touches to the film. I also hated the final line, where Mike Vogel looks directly into the camera and says that really cheesy finish line. I thought that, plus the final act of the film, really made this feel more run-of-the-mill than it should have, which is a shame, because it was interesting enough to garner an 8/10 from me. It could have gotten even higher.
Tristan #4: Tristan - added 05/29/2008, 10:15 AM
Yeah, that final line was just... wow. You could see it coming though.
bluemeanie #5: bluemeanie - added 05/29/2008, 01:01 PM
Oh, absolutely. As soon as he looked into the camera, I quoted the line before he even said it.
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