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A Horrible Way to Die (2010)

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An escaped murderer is in pursuit of his ex-girlfriend, who has fled to start a new life in a small town.

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3 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Garrick Turrell
... Sarah
... Kevin
... Rusty
... Reed
... Carla
Kelsey Munger ... Elisabeth
Michael Anthony Miller ... Steven
Ed Hanson ... Mr. Harper
Frank Stack ... Elderly Man
... Daphne
Gabriel Wallace ... Warner
Kirstin Denise Racicot ... Chelsea
... Craig
Cathe Frank ... Maddy
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Storyline

An escaped murderer is in pursuit of his ex-girlfriend, who has fled to start a new life in a small town.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing bloody violence and images, language, some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

19 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Užasan Način za Umiranje  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Outside of very few scenes, the cinematography is done with minimal lighting and/or very soft-focused cameras to give the film a very dark edge. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Garrick Turrell: I must have... I must have dozed off or something. I apologize.
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Connections

Features Cat-Women of the Moon (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

The Four Seasons - Winter
Written by Antonio Vivaldi
Performed by U.S. Air Force Band
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User Reviews

 
A Horrible Case of Cinematography
5 July 2016 | by See all my reviews

I'm clearly running out of movies to watch on Prime and Shudder, which is why I eventually gave in and decided to settle for A Horrible Way To Die. Before delving further into the review, to be fair, I should state that just a couple hours before watching it, I saw one of the most incredible films I've ever had the pleasure of watching-'Magic Magic'; so 'A Horrible Way To Die' had a lot to live up to.

I had been reading around about this movie for a while. After all, with a title like that, you can't help but wonder what it's all about. I, of course, presumed that AHWTD was just another B-Horror movie belonging to the 'torture-porn' genre, and therefor, most likely a waste of time. But after reading several reviews which hailed the film for it's magnificent writing and acting, I decided to give it a go.

The first thing that I'll say about this movie is that the cinematography is terrible. I mean, really, it's almost unwatchable-maybe the director had some artistic statement in mind (attempting to give the film a feeling of 'visceral reality'?), or if the camera man just didn't have a the ability to stay in focus or to keep a steady hand. Regardless, it didn't work. I'm a man that values aesthetic, and I like movies to look beautiful-and if they don't..Well, I expect there to be a reason for that (for instance, it makes sense that the camera work looks shaky in a movie like 'The Blair Witch Project'). I suppose some might argue that the hand-held shaky camera-work adds a flair of 'grit' to the film, but I would argue that it does not (after all, Bad Leutenant got it's point across while still staying in focus), and instead creates the impression that the cinematographer was relying on a corny gimmick to cover up his lack of talent. There is absolutely no reason that half the film has to be out of focus.

Secondly, I would have to disagree with the assertion that the writing in 'A Horrible Way To Die' is anything above average. In fact, I would say a lot of the dialogue seems forced. It's hard to tell in movies like this if this is the product of the script itself or bad acting, but I'm going to go with the latter. I've seen some of these actors in other films and they were capable enough, and at times their talent does shine through the dull dialogue.

Another thing that annoyed me was the depiction of Alchoholics Anonymous. Having struggled with addiction for many years, I know the format of a 12 Step meeting like the back of my hand. Now do not misinterpret what I'm saying-I am no 'Big Book Thumper', but I am starting to get really annoyed by how all these movies are depicting Alchoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous. To me it just shows sloppiness..After all, how hard would it be to approach a member and just ask, 'Hey, we're making this movie, and a central theme is alcoholism, so do you think you could help us out to accurately depict a 12 Step program?". Clearly that conversation never took place. I almost feel as if they got their impression of 'The Program' from other movies.

Anyway, I have to admit, I only watched 3/4 or the film, because quite frankly, the quality became to abrasive for my taste. I don't mind low-budget films if the film-maker knows how to work within that limited budget (a great example of this is Mark Flannegans' 'Absentia', or the Sci-Fi time travel film 'Primer', supposedly filmed with a $7,000 budget), but that is not the case with 'A Horrible Way to Die', which instead looks at best like an ambitious student film that despite it's efforts, fails.

I will say that for what they were given to work with in terms of the script, the acting was pretty good, and that's probably the movies' one redeeming quality. Still though, I wouldn't waste my time with this one. I see a lot of people making claims like it's a 'hidden gem', and I imagine if you went into the movie with the expectation that it was going to be the the worst film in the history of cinema you might walk away with that point of view, but in to me it was an incredibly mediocre, predictable thriller.


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