Click here to return to the main site.

DVD Review

DVD cover

Clive Barker's Dread


Starring: Jackson Rathbone, Shaun Evans, Paloma Faith and Hanne Steen
Lions Gate Home Entertainment
RRP: £12.99
Certificate: 18
Available 29 March 2010

A college student is approached by another man who offers to help him with his thesis. The subject is fear, and the initial stage is to film individual students and question them on their deepest personal terror. Most are unrealistic phobias, but some possess a timorousness or plain dread that seems to be built into their very make-up. However, the stranger has his own twisted motive for conducting this practical research. His living nightmare is that as a small child he witnessed an intruder slaughter his entire family. Even now, he has no idea how or why he survived. His psychosis drives him to discover what people's limits are, so that, even after the thesis is completed and presented, he continues to play fatalistic sick jokes on those around him...

Dread is one of an intended series of feature films to be released based on home grown horror writer Clive Barker's Books of Blood short stories. I've reviewed two of them recently, both of which were okay but nothing special. I have a similar opinion of Dread.

Clive Barker suffers somewhat from the Stephen King adaptation imbalance, which means a small percentage materialise as powerful representations of the written word, leaving the majority as average fair. Hellraiser worked, although it looks a little dated now, which is probably why it has been remade. I liked Nightbreed (based on the book Cabal), but I think I was the only one. And Midnight Meat Train was very good. This film is more of a study on sociology/psychology than a horror film which actually goes anywhere. I'm not exactly certain that the experiment with the vegetarian and the joint of meat would turn out the way it did, but who am I to say?

Although Barker's Books of Blood incorporate long short stories, the feature length fails to sustain a pretty straightforward, if intriguing, premise. This would better suit an hour-long TV anthology series format.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£7.99 (
£7.99 (
£7.99 (
£8.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.