Play Dead (2022) Horror Movie Review


“Play Dead,” a 2022 horror-thriller directed by Patrick Lussier, takes viewers on a macabre journey that is as unsettling as it is captivating. The film stars Bailee Madison as Chloe, a criminology student who fakes her own death to infiltrate a morgue. Her mission? To retrieve evidence that could exonerate her younger brother. However, Chloe’s plan quickly spirals into a nightmare when she discovers the coroner’s gruesome side business.

The movie opens with a premise that promises a blend of horror and intrigue. Chloe’s character is introduced with a sense of determination that sets the stage for the film’s suspenseful narrative. Bailee Madison delivers a compelling performance, embodying Chloe’s fear and resolve in equal measure. Her portrayal is the anchor that keeps the audience invested as the story unfolds.

Jerry O’Connell’s portrayal of the coroner is equally noteworthy. He brings a chilling presence to the screen, embodying a character that is both menacing and enigmatic. The dynamic between Chloe and the coroner is the film’s driving force, creating a tense cat-and-mouse game that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

The cinematography and set design deserve special mention. The morgue’s claustrophobic environment is captured with an eerie realism that enhances the film’s atmosphere. The dim lighting and cold palette contribute to a sense of foreboding that permeates every scene.

While “Play Dead” excels in creating tension, it is not without its flaws. Some critics have pointed out plot holes and character decisions that strain credibility. Despite these criticisms, the film manages to maintain its grip on the audience, largely due to the increasing tension and the lead’s strong acting.

The second half of the movie is where “Play Dead” truly shines. As the stakes are raised, the pacing quickens, and the film transitions from a slow-burn thriller to an all-out horror fest. The climax is a testament to Lussier’s ability to craft a narrative that is both horrifying and thrilling.

In the Nutshell

“Play Dead” is a film that will resonate with fans of the horror-thriller genre. It’s a testament to the power of a well-executed premise and strong performances. While it may not redefine the genre, it certainly provides a gripping experience that is worth the watch for those who enjoy a good scare with a side of mystery. For its ability to keep the audience engaged and its commendable production values, “Play Dead” earns a solid place in the 2022 horror lineup. [4 out of 5].

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Genre: Thriller

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