DEADSTREAM movie poster | ©Shudder/Blue Finch Releasing

DEADSTREAM movie poster | ©2022 Shudder/Blue Finch Releasing

Rating: Not Rated
Stars: Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone
Writers: Joseph Winter & Vanessa Winter
Directors: Joseph Winter & Vanessa Winter
Distributor: Shudder/Blue Finch Releasing
Release Date: October 6, 2022

Shawn Ruddy (Joseph Winter, who also wrote and directed DEADSTREAM with Vanessa Winter) has low self-esteem and is a self-professed wuss. He’s facing all of his biggest fears (being picked up by a garbage truck in a trash can, being chased by cops) and streaming the incidents online on his “Wrath of Shawn” show.

When one stunt backfires, though, Shawn loses his sponsors and platforms. After a six-month digital exile, he returns, saying he’s scared of ghosts and plans to spend the night in “Death Manor” in Payson, Utah. Shawn describes it as the most haunted house that’s not too famous for him to film inside it.

Twelve people (that are known about) have died inside the house between 1880 and 1956, when it was boarded up. Shawn’s plan is to spend the night alone here. He blessedly explains the tech, so that we understand how he gets both selfie and p.o.v. shots (too many found footage movies give us footage from perspectives that make no sense in the context of how they are supposedly being made).

But then Shawn’s self-proclaimed biggest fan Chrissy (Melanie Stone) makes her way inside, intent on joining Shawn’s live stream.

DEADSTREAM plays tricks on us almost from the start, with Shawn cheerfully hawking a t-shirt advertising his disappearance. People’s reactions to Shawn are amusing, and the creepy stuff is legitimately spooky.

There are lots of cool monsters, ghosts and grossouts here (yes, the house turns out to be as haunted as the rumors have it), although anybody wanting to be truly surprised should stay away from some of the advertising images. At least one of these reveals a major plot point. *It’s hard to know exactly how scary DEADSTREAM means to be, though. Shawn is constantly talking or whimpering, so that what should be eerie silence is filled with chatter. It makes sense for the character, but prevents the dread from building.

The mythology makes sense as far as it goes, explaining how there got to be so many ghosts on the premises. There are even some clever methods of inserting some darkly droll exposition.

However, DEADSTREAM keeps letting us get ahead of Shawn. There are some genuine laughs, but Shawn’s ego and ineptitude don’t make for a satisfying running gag. This is a horror comedy where the scares land much more effectively than most of the jokes do.

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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Movie Review:  DEADSTREAM


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