Dee [Mike Stevens, USA, 2017]
Dee is an effective slice of horror from director Mike Stevens. Its plot is difficult to discuss without spoiling it so you may want to watch Dee before reading this review.
The film’s premise concerns police detective Jack Blackmore who is hunting a serial killer that is targeting young girls. In an early twist, the killer turns out to be none other than Blackmore himself who keeps trophies and mementos of his kills in his home. Soon after, Blackmore is visited by a silent and mysterious girl in the middle of the night who summons the ghosts of Blackmore’s victims. The ghosts torment and chase their murderer before eventually cornering him, at which point the film ends.
It is a strong premise with enough twists and turns in the film’s short run time to keep the audience’s attention. The direction is strong, knowing when to hold on shots to build suspense and both Alex Judd as Blackmore and Vanessa Przada as the titular Dee (the strange girl) give strong performances. In particular, Judd as Blackmore succeeds in selling both Blackmore’s stereotypical cowboy cop guise pre-twist, as well as his sliminess and evil post-twist.
A criticism is that Dee sometimes leans on cliché. Creepy nursery rhymes (in this case the ghosts singing “Ring Around the Rosie” as they chase Blackmore) being a well-worn horror trope found across the genre. Still, a strong premise and suspenseful direction elevate the film.
'Dee' was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.