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I’ll Take Your Dead (Blu-ray Review)

Shout! Studios continues to emerge and grow and their latest, I’ll Take Your Dead is arriving on Blu-ray June 4th. Directed by Chad Archibald (Bite, The Heretics), and starring Aidan Devine (A History of Violence, Suicide Squad), Ava Preston (DC’s Shazam!, The Kennedys), Jess Salgueiro(Workin’ Moms, Mary Kills People), and Ari Millen (Orphan Black, Rupture), the home entertainment release of I’ll Take Your Dead includes a behind-the-scenes featurette that takes a look at the production of the film along with cast and crew interviews, as well as a script-to-screen comparison piece, deleted scenes, and trailers.

Film 

I’ll Take Your Dead follows William, who has a simple job: he makes dead bodies disappear. This isn’t something he likes or even wants to do, but through circumstances out of his control, his little farm house in the country has become a dumping ground for the casualties of the gang related murders in the nearby city. His daughter Gloria has become used to rough looking men dropping off corpses and is even convinced that some of these corpses are haunting their house.

After a woman’s body is dumped at the house, William begins his meticulous process when he realizes she’s not actually dead. As the gang activity increases, William patches the woman up and holds her against her will until he can figure out what to do with her. As they begin to develop a very unusual respect for each other, the woman’s murderers get word that she’s still alive and make plan to finish what they started.

This latest Shout! Studios release delivers an interesting concept, but wallows around in too many scenes that feel like filler/runtime padding when all is said and done. Not that those don’t carry any meat, but there are a few too many of them, and often they start to feel repetitive. It earns your goodwill and interest early own, but struggles to maintain that level by never taking any real interesting turns with its paranormal elements aside from just tossing in a jump scare to make sure you are still paying attention and to remind you there are additional fiendish elements at play.

The films conclusions does pick things up and feels quite thrilling, which regains a lot of the better stuff introduced earlier, but its a little late and its mainly just that its fast, loud and includes monsters/blood/kills that keeps it interesting in a more core sense than anything really ingenious or unique. And honestly, it doesn’t have to be that. The film has some really solid work in effects and make up and displays them without fear and to superb effect when something wrangles out of the darkness.

For the most part, I’ll Take Your Dead is rather solid. It has a good enough hook to latch onto your intrigue for a good while before you realize it should be moving somewhere or a little faster than it does. I’m not against slow burn movies, but this one feels like its merely hanging out and preaching the same things a lot of the time. This is a fine watch for someone looking for a horror rental/streaming service selection in the horror genre that is rather something new, a little more unique.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: I’ll Take Your Dead arrives on Blu-ray for the first time with a rock solid looking picture. The crisp image comes with some sharp frames and pretty good attention to detail. This was digitally shot and has that same sort of look that comes with more independent films of this ilk. It does the trick though as there are no real complaints given the right expectations for the image’s performance.

Depth:  This features a nice, above average experience with the depth of field in the film. The more darkened scenes fare a little better in terms of impressive dimensional work. Motion is smoother with no real motion blur issues.

Black Levels: Black appear deep, but with a small hint of lighter graying as per usual with a more digitally shot film. Details being consumed are minimal and no real troubling crushing issue occured during this viewing.

Color Reproduction: Colors are a bit muted for the most part reserving the special pop for the fire and ghastly creatures on display in the film.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are a little cooler and maintain a consistency from start to finish of the film. Facial features and textures are pretty well done in close ups and most medium shots. Details on the corpse-ghost-things prove pretty detailed and effective.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, English 2.0 Stereo DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: I’ll Take Your Dead has an above-average, solid performing 5.1 track that does well in balancing the quieter scenes and loud sequences. It is effective at providing a good jolt when necessary and also has the layering proficiency to capture the littlest creaks of a boot lifting off the wood flooring in the house.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Gunshots, destruction, deep sawing, doors slamming, fire roasting and more give an admiral bump from the subwoofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a quieter film for the most part, but really delivers some good ambiance and sound travel for bullets whizzing by or people running around a different floor of the house.

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp with good attention to detail on the actors’ diction.

Extras 

Behind-The-Scenes Featurette (HD, 8:58) – Features a lot of on-set footage with both on-set confessionals and set up interviews done while filming.

Deleted Scenes (HD, 11:06) 

Script-To-Screen Comparison (HD, 4:23) – Splits the screen with the film on top and the script pages below.

Trailers (HD, 3:31) – 2 total

Summary 

I’ll Take Your Dead has a really terrific set up and overall concept with an action-packed finale, but there’s too much middling and running in place to latch to the beginning third to the end third of the film effectively. Scream Factory delivers a solid performing Blu-ray complete with some decent extras to accompany. I’d say this is a decent rental as you’d probably want to check out the film first before owning.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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