Deadgirl is about two childhood friends who find an ostensibly "dead girl" one day while skipping class. The dead girl has been stripped, tied up and gagged in the basement of an abandoned psychiatric facility for what seems like a long time when they find her. JT (Noah Segan) immediately sees the depraved possibilities of having a dead (but not really) girl at their disposal that can be used to fulfill all their sexual desires. After being constantly rejected by all the girls at their school, JT especially sees the dead girl as an opportunity to project all of his pent up sexual frustrations onto. While Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) is far more reluctant to participate in JT's twisted desires as he clutches onto his own delusional desires for the high school hottie Joann (Candice King), who he shared a kiss with once upon a time.
Deadgirl has strikingly realistic dialogue throughout. It's crass, it's disgusting, and it's pretty typical of most young men at that age. Considering their circumstances, it seemed like all the boys knew they'd probably end up working menial jobs, land themselves in jail and never get their 'fantasy' hot girl anyway, so JT at least rationalized it by saying that they might as well sieze this opportunity while they can. The dead girl was essentially dead, largely comatose throughout everything, and I don't think it was that she had shut herself down to try alleviate the trauma she was undergoing, and had previously underwentbefore they'd even got there. The dead girl seemed more like a zombie, than she did a living person. But does that excuse their hedonistic behavior?
The atmosphere was nice and eerie, and the acting was surprisingly strong from Noah Segan as the alpha of the group. However this movie is one of those where the "scenes just strung together" saying applies to the vague editing. The character development seemed to move along a little too quickly I thought, and the stupidity of some of the kids was too much at times. Admittedly, they are high school kids, but they still made more than a few remarkably stupid decisions. I had to wonder if the black dog was a symbolic presence that was there to give us some clues about the dead girl, but that didn't seem to be the case. At first I thought it was representative of Cerberus, a guardian of the dead, and of Garmr, the gatekeeper of the underworld. Maybe the basement of the psychiatric ward brought out the repressed underworld of all their personalities. I was reminded of the Joker's nihilistic outlook of life. That people are only as good as the world allows them to be, and the basement effectively stripped away 'the world'.
The most searing social commentary though was probably left for Rickie. You know the kind of guy who thinks if he's a vegan that a bull won't gore his ass. JT, as depraved as he was, was more honest in his sick ways. Rickie was a slacker who constantly pined after Joann, and when she rebuffed his advances numerous times and told him to "grow up" with his puppy love for her. Well, he didn't take it well. Rickie felt entitled to Joann and her affections just because he was nice to her. He reminded me of the kind of guy who touts feminism just to try get the girls to like him. Rickie, despite his facade of being the moral center of the group, was the biggest pretender of them all. For all its notoriety, Deadgirl didn't seem as bad as its reputation would have you believe. Yes, there's some unconscionable things in the movie, no doubt, but nothing that really got under my skin like some other movies have. Deadgirl is a movie that constantly asks us some interesting, but uncomfortable questions about our nature. It could have been executed far better than it was though.
Written by - The Sentry - 17/12/2016