Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) [REVIEW]

 

I’m guessing you have one of two reactions right now. One, you are confused at the fact that I have categorized this film as not only a horror film, but also as a non-horror film. Two, you couldn’t really give a shit what category it falls under, and are surprised to know that there are categories. Netflix categorized this film as a drama, a thriller, and a psychological thriller. All of these genres are correct, but I knew there was something about the movie that originally made me think it was horror when I first heard about it. Before I go any further and explain why it falls under both categories, let me warn you that I can’t do so without providing lots of spoilers. If you’ve heard of this movie and were wondering if you should check it out, I recommend it, and you can find it on Netflix Instant Watch, where you will also find a description. If you don’t really care whether or not you know the ending, continue reading.

 

Yip, you guessed it…this guy farts everyone to death.

Richard, played by Paddy Considine, returns from war a little, well, edgy. His brother Anthony, played by Toby Kebbell, is mentally handicapped, which is something exploited by the local thugs and lowlifes. Anthony is forced to do drugs, sleep with women while being cheered on, beaten, and abused by these jerks, but his slightly on edge war vet brother doesn’t plan to let it slide. Upon returning from the war, Anthony points out who the lowlifes are, as Richard one-by-one harasses them, torments them, humiliates them, and ultimately kills some of them, over the course of four days. By the end of the film, we realize that all the harassment endured by Anthony forces him to hang himself, and we realize it was his ghost that was pointing out the individuals who drove him to this point, or possibly it was Richard’s shattered psyche that imagined Anthony instructing him. The film ends with Richard taking the final tormentor to the spot where his brother killed himself, and forcing the tormentor to stab him, realizing that his destruction knows no limit, and all he wants is to be with his brother. The tormentor honors his request, killing him, and the movie is over. What a happy ending!

 

One Down? Looks more like a number TWO that didn’t go down! GET IT?!

My guess is that I read a review for this film and it was described as “A war veteran carries out the wishes of his brother, who is a ghost” or something like that, but completely forgot. That’s why I had to categorize it in two different areas, but I feel that it’s justified. There is never really any mention of Anthony being a supernatural character, so it is somewhat of a surprise at the end when you realize he is dead. And Considine did a great job of portraying someone who clearly has some issues and it comes as no surprise when he starts terrorizing people, but does this in a more subtle way, and isn’t just some over-the-top psycho. He clearly has no fear of death, but is driven by purpose. Sure, there are some parts of the movie that go by a little slowly, and some of the dialogue is hard to make out through some of the actors’ accents, but it’s a small price to pay for a subtle, yet effective revenge movie.

 

Wolfman Moon Scale


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