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What they say: A furiously original meld of madness and pathos, The Living and the Dead is family dysfunction at its most shocking and grotesque. With bankruptcy looming, desperate Donald Brocklebank (Roger Lloyd Pack, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) must leave his bedridden wife alone with their son James – a schizophrenic man-child. In a horrific fit of dementia James abandons his medication, locks the doors, and plays nurse. As his ability to distinguish morbid fantasy from reality decays, he plunges into a mental labyrinth so violent and deranged none of them may survive it.
What I say: As much a scathing look at the modern medical system as it is a horror film, Simon Rumleys The Living and the Dead is a harrowing, horrifying look at madness and the effects it has on everyone around. The film uses more than one POV to establish how bad the situation is from both perspectives.
Simon Rumley is one of the most talented of the wave of horror directors, in this, his first horror film, he truly establishes himself as one to watch. The way he masterfully uses the camera to depict the downward spiral of the characters is downright chilling. The performances are all top notch and this is a fantastic film, one that stay with you long after the credits roll. If you have ever had anyone in your life that was bedridden or mentally challenged, this film will really hit home.
Also included on the disc is a short film by Rumley; Laughter. This is bizarre and quite engaging. I’m glad it was included as it give you another look into this talented mind.