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The Living and the Dead (2008)

A movie directed by Simon Rumley

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Realistic Horror

  • Feb 21, 2008
"The Living and the Dead"

Realistic Horror

Amos Lassen

Get ready for a descent into hell with the new horror film "The Living and the Dead". It is raw and real and very scary. It is an unusual film in that it is so bold. The cinematography is fantastic, the actors are excellent, the editing is mad and the music is amazing.
"Ex-Lord" Donald Brocklebank finds that he has to leave Longleigh House to go to London in order to discover how to pay for the medical treatments needed by his wife Nancy. His delusional, over-protected, adult son, James, believes that he is to be in charge of the manor house with his mother is terminally ill. He barricades the two of them into the house so she can undertake treatment and thereby protects her from any outside help including that of her nurse.
The film is an emotionally disturbing look at mental illness as it looks at the issue of ailing relatives and the reality of death. The downward spiral of delusion, madness and death, and horror is given to us in many layers but the film is exceedingly tragic in that it is simply the tale of a family that experiences an increasing series of emotional implosions that eventually destroys everything and which leaves the one survivor stripped of all and completely shattered and with no sanity.
The movie is somewhat of a retelling of "The Shining" but here the nuclear family is threatened by bankruptcy and death by terminal cancer and a child-like son who requires infusions of anti-psychotics. We see the personal need of the director to pull the audience into madness and he succeeds in attempting to do so.

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More The Living and the Dead (2008) reviews
review by . May 12, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    Simon Rumley's "The Living and the Dead" is nearly indescribable in the elaborate, graphically striking ways that it manages to transcend typical genre classification and identification. I guess you could call it a horror film, but then again, the horror is all naturalistic; as they say, terror starts at home. But then, there is a very emotionally engaging dramatic story that draws us in and possibly away from the negative energy that the film gives off, pushing …
review by . April 25, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
THE LIVING AND THE DEAD sounds like it has a decent plot, but don't be fooled. Things are so convoluted and disoriented that even when the plot begins to make sense, it doesn't matter.    Former Lord Donald Brocklebank's (Roger Lloyd-Pack) wife, Nancy (Kate Fahyl) is physically ill and is getting worse. Meanwhile, Donald's only son, James (Leo Bill), is delusional and a borderline psychotic who can't be trusted to be by himself. The family lives in the once extravagant, but now …
review by . March 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
'The Living and the Dead' tells the story of a husband who has to go away to help pay for his wife's medical bills. The mother is left alone in the home with their adult mentally challenged son and nurse and the result is a horror movie that is just not good. If you enjoy bad movies or bad horror movies specifically this might be a good selection for you, but 90% of the movie loving world will not love this piece of work.    ** NOT RECOMMENDED
review by . March 03, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Clearly this is not a horror movie about haunted mansions or axe-wielding maniacs, but it's as coolly disconcerting a thriller as you're likely to come across. Death of a parent, impotence in the face of an unbeatable disease, the awareness of one's own dementia, the fear of being left, alone, unwanted... These are the things that Simon Rumley wants to address, and he does so with a good intensity with The Living and the Dead. Well, as much as mildly I appreciate the film, it's not one I aim to …
About the reviewer
Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #208
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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About this movie


An indie-horror classic of the future! --Salon.com
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Director: Simon Rumley
DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
Runtime: 83 minutes
Studio: TLA
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"Realistic Horror"
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