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Review: ‘Death Count’ is a Non-Stop Ride of Blood With Gripping Tensity

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Review: 'Death Count' is a Non-Stop Ride of Blood With Gripping Tensity

Hello horror hounds, Jacob back with another review! I’m honored to announce that I got an exclusive look at the latest horror flick from Mahal Empire, the same company that brought us Attack of the Unknown (big shout-out if you remember my review). This time I have the pleasure of taking a look at the gloriously gory torture film Death Count.

Now it’s no secret that the torture subgenre of horror has taken off the last fifteen to twenty years, with iconic franchises like Saw, Hostel, I Spit On Your Grave, and many others being big players in the game. With that said it may be expected for films like this to grow tired and fall into various cliches. This is not the case with Death Count. The story flows with tension that grips you right from the start, and is aided by fun characters that really invite you to pay attention. Each character starts out as a sort of cliché caricature of someone you’d find working at a school but are slowly chipped away by the horrific wardens torture.

Death Count‘s premise is “Strangers awaken in individual holding cells with no memory of how they arrived. They realize if they don’t acquire enough online “likes” in a timely manner, they’ll die horribly at the hands of a sinister executioner”.

Death Count is…brutal. No doubt. From the start audiences are greeted with a bang as the chaos begins, and not letting up until as much blood that can possibly be spilled… gets spilled.

The film is written and directed by Michael Su (Doomed, The Revolting Dead, My Demon Within) with revisions from Rolfe Kanefsky (Bonnie and Clyde: Justified, There’s Nothing Out There, and The Killer Eye). Su also did the cinematography for the film, creating a disturbingly fun and engaging torture flick.

The acting portraying in the film is fantastic. The standout players for me are Michael Madsen, Sarah French, and Denny Nolan. Sarah French specifically brings so much of the emotion, pain, and grief to the story while Madsen bring sin the grizzled edge one would expect from him. However, that’s not the say the rest of the cast do great work. Not to mention the simple but well utilized sets and wardrobes. I can always appreciate a visually appealing indie flick, especially if it’s a bloody horror film.

The special effects are gnarly, and sometimes so brutal, the characters probably wish they were dead. Blood, guts, cuts, tears, acid…it’s all here on full unapologetic, uncensored display. If you’re a gore hound this is definitely a fun flick to watch. The best part is that it’s all done with so much creativity, you have no idea what surprise “The Warden” will pull on the characters, as well as the audience, next.

This film isn’t all style and no substance. The plot and script offer a surprising amount of depth and commentary on the education system, and takes institutional practices like budgeting and twists them into a dark almost vigilante revenge story. The film shows how much certain parts of education mean to some people, and how devastating it can be when those resources are taken away. For the cherry on top, the end credit song was fantastic.

At the end of the day, the film manages to serve as a great addition to an ever-growing subgenre in horror. Death Count is a non-stop ride of blood with gripping tensity that doesn’t let go until the very end.

Death Count will be available on July 19th, 2022.

Death Count Poster

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