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The Living and the Dead (2008)

A movie directed by Simon Rumley

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They All Went to Purgatory

  • Apr 25, 2008
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 decaying Longleigh House that for a family of three is just way, way, too big. Donald has to leave for a few days and go to London to arrange financing for Nancy's surgery. He's not too worried because despite his family's problems, he's been gone before and Nurse Mary (Sarah Ball) has always taken care of things while he was away. Donald leaves while it is still dark and Nurse Mary hasn't arrived, yet. James wakes up and decides that Nurse Mary isn't needed and he will take care of his mother himself. He leaves the phone off the hook and bolts the doors. James does alright if there isn't any stress and if he's taking his medication properly, but he stops taking his evening medication and eventually begins confusing his pills with his mother's. What results is a confusing and dizzying nightmare that leads to tragedy.

I try to find at least one good thing in every film I see. The best thing about THE LIVING AND THE DEAD is that there is some really good acting in the movie. Unfortunately, most people are never going to notice the acting because the movie is so incredibly bad. For example, there is no explanation why Donald is no longer a Lord, or what exactly Mary is suffering from, or what happened to turn James from the happy young man he once was into the delusional and crazy person he has become. About a third of the movie is sped up (I assume to reflect the mental state of James) but this technique fails at it's apparent purpose and becomes an irritating and annoyin nuisance that distracts from the few good things going on in the movie. There's not much dialogue and what little there is as disjointed as the movie's structure. The lighting is horrible and the music is atrocious. Five minutes into the film I couldn't wait for it to end, but there was about eighty-five minutes left to go. THE LIVING AND THE DEAD is so bad that it is a movie that MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 wouldn't have even shown.

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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 . 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 …
review by . February 21, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
"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 …
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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
First to Review

"Realistic Horror"
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