Film #189: DEAD DAUGHTERS
Dead Daughters (aka Myortvye Docheri aka Мёртвые дочери)
1 out of 5 stars
Trends in horror are like ripples in a pond. What makes a splash in one country soon finds its way to others and each country puts its own unique spin on the ball. Take J-Horror for example… It caused quite a stir a while ago and it soon found its way to Korea, Thailand, and soon to US shores. Well, guess what… in 2007, it found its way to Russia, but something, somewhere, got lost in translation. With DEAD DAUGHTERS, we get a story of three little girls who were drowned by their mother and are hunting down people who do “bad things.” Or something… I guess… Frankly the narrative is so completely muddled and incoherent that it’s hard to know what’s what. I mean, it’s never really clear why these ghosts begin hunting down the young people who are the focus of the film. It’s never explained why each chosen person need only stay alive for three days in order to survive. So much simply does not get addressed that, well, it’s annoying, to say the least. What’s also annoying is that those who do die… their deaths are never shown. Not the death itself or even the aftermath. There’s some blood splattered around, but, not much else. In a horror film… WTF?!?! Further, the film is shot by someone completely unable to hold the camera still, even static shots of doors or windows or whatever… the camera continually shakes and drifts. Most of the time, the viewer is too busy trying to figure out WHAT he’s seeing to be concerned with WHY he’s seeing it. Add to all of this a ridiculously slow and uneventful story and you’ll get my drift. The film is a mess. Director, Pavel Ruminov, obviously has all the talent he needs to shoot a good looking picture because the film does look (other than all the shaky camera shit). It’s just that, even though all the pieces are there, he just can’t figure out how to put them all together to make an effective genre film. Hopefully, the next craze to make it to Russia will be the craze of comprehensible storytelling. DEAD DAUGHTERS is, simply put, a total mess.