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DVD Review

The Deaths of Ian Stone


Starring: Mike Vogel, Christina Cole, Michael Dixon, Jaime Murray and Jeff Peterson
Entertainment in Video
RRP: £14.99
Certificate: 15
Available 26 May 2008

On an otherwise ordinary night, twenty-something Ian Stone encounters a mysterious creature and is forced into the path of an oncoming train. Rather than facing certain death however, Ian finds himself reborn into a new life that feels strangely familiar. Everyday the pattern is repeated as Ian wakes up living a different existence and, before the end of the day, meets a horrific death. Ian discovers that he is at the mercy of Harvesters, alien creatures who feed on human fear. But what do the Harvesters want with Ian? And why does the same woman keep turning up in each of his new lives in a different guise? Ian Stone had better find out fast - because until he can figure out why he keeps dying, the carnage looks set to continue...

The idea behind The Deaths of Ian Stone sounds promising. A man is forced to live a new life every day. He's on the run from mysterious creatures which, once they find him, will kill him - forcing him to be reborn into a new life. If he remembers his old life, then the creatures hunt him down and kill him once again.

Sadly, however, what starts of as a fairly promising movie soon spirals into the pits of cliche hell. And almost every scene reminds you of another movie - to the point where I started to make a mental note of all the borrowed scenes. Maybe that's an idea for a great fan game - spot the scene homage! Maybe not.

When you look back over the film you realise that the basic plot makes absolutely no sense at all. Ignore the next paragraph if you intend to watch the movie.

We learn that Ian is living a life on Earth, but that these creatures are punishing him so that he will never be happy. Okay... er... in that case why not just let him live a normal earthly existence? That's pretty much hell isn't it? Seriously, look at what he's given up to live on Earth - the creatures think it's a lot - they despise mankind as weak and certainly a species to be pitied. Why not let Ian live on Earth and slowly orchestrate the world around him so that he is in turmoil all the time? How on Earth is killing him everyday a punishment - especially when originally he wasn't supposed to remember the past lives and instead his memories would be filled of experiences from his new life?

The acting, on the whole, is pretty good. The only notable exception is one minor blip in Jaime Murray's performance. For the majority of this film she's great... but then, during an interrogation scene she displays all the over-the-top menace of a pantomime villain. To be fair this is not her fault. The dialogue is bloody terrible - so chalk that one up to the script.

Another point worth mentioning... What on earth were Entertainment in Video thinking when they decided to dispatch time coded DVDs to reviewers? A great big clock obscuring the top of the picture infuriates people - it's not the best way to get writers on your side is it? It certainly made my viewing experience a lot worse.

I can't comment on the extras as there were none on the DVD we received for review - although, oddly enough, there were about half a dozen trailers for other movies at the start of the DVD. Extras (apparently) include the trailer; Sound Bites; and B roll (you're guess is as good as mine).

For those who'd like to revisit the worst cliched parts of every horror movie ever made... you'll love this master's class in how not to make a film.


Darren Rea

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