Review: Just Before Dawn


When you consider that it is fairly common place for horror writers of screen and novels to seek the mountains and forests of rural America to give the them the inspiration they need, did it never occur to any of them that unless they had a decent premise to begin with, all they might come back with is the idea of murder in a forest?

‘The Hills Have Eyes’ and now apparently the forests do as well as ‘Just before Dawn’ shamelessly rips off Cravens classic. Simply put, the movie’s plot involves a group of four teens camping in a remote forest. Despite the park rangers warnings they venture into the deep of the woods and party; this awakens the demons! - A family of inbred hicks. Needless to say the group end off getting picked off one by one until the final confrontation.

The plot is as linear as the above and fails to impress. The sheer cheek of the plagiarism could be put aside if there had been any other aspects of originality or thought, however there isn’t. The characters in the movie are really dull, none of the group even fit into any of the normal stereotypes associated with US 80s horror, in fact they don’t have any personality at all. Before the killing starts there is none of the usual jovial scenarios which keep viewers entertained before the body count begins to rise, and in all honesty I was starting to zone out.

It should come as no surprise that, when they finally came, the deaths were as equally lack lustre as the rest of the movie. The main killer uses a big machete, but you don’t see any real gore or even blood for the most part. There is one good scene involving a cat-and-mouse scenario on a rope bridge which ends with one of the group doing the high dive, but it was little consolation really, when you consider the minute death count each needed to shine.

Overall I’m reluctant to spend any more time critiquing this purely thoughtless piece. Don’t let some attractive box art fool you into thinking that this is anything more than the 1.5 out of 5 I have given it. There are so many better examples, this deserves to be forgotten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *