I'LL TAKE YOUR DEAD / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: CHAD ARCHIBALD / SCREENPLAY: CHAD ARCHIBALD, JAYME LAFOREST / STARRING: AIDAN DEVINE, AVA PRESTON, JESS SALGUEIRO, ARI MILLEN / RELEASE DATE: TBC
A seemingly regular farmer has a dark secret - in exchange for money, he decomposes and disposes of bodies for the mafia. When a body shows up on his doorstep that isn't actually dead, William and his innocent pre-teen daughter Gloria are thrust into a terrifying moral dilemma in the atmospheric thriller, I'll Take Your Dead.
Stories of struggling folk who get caught up in gang culture have been done before but what sets I'll Take Your Dead apart from this rest is how well directed, acted and produced this indie thriller is. From the get-go, the tone of the film is swiftly set and it never strives away from it - scenes of a bleak or traumatic nature are filtered in a way that causes natural unease whilst the scenes containing emotional moments of glimmering hope have a slightly lighter hue.
The story is also a rather unique blend of gangster revenge, paternal relationship and supernatural horror that makes this stand out. Gloria (Ava Preston) is easily the stand out character in the film whose pristine sinless nature is elevated by Preston's performance which is an absolute revelation. Her relationship with both her father and the not-so-dead body Jackie creates an interesting three-way dynamic that is tested when ghosts from all three of their pasts come back to physically and mentally haunt them.
Director Chad Archibald doesn't shy away from the scares and gore too - the house in which a vast majority of the film takes place in feels like a character itself and creates a tense atmosphere resulting in plenty of scares for the audience to endure and the use of fire and acid resulting in some moments that will make you squirm. The supernatural is quite unique too - rather than being the focal point, it is used as a story devise to physically depict each characters deep metal psych with the horrors that occur in the house.
Whilst taking from various genres, I'll Take Your Dead is a thoroughly entertaining blend of emotion, action and scares that also contains a true breakout performance by young starlet Ava Preston. The unique concoction of these genres has created a rather unique little film.