5 OR DIE
Reviewed by: JimmyO
What's it about
A teenager inadvertently passes on a deadly chain e-mail to his friends. Once they find that old clock counting down to five minutes on their computer screen, they’d better watch out for the man in black… not Johnny Cash, another guy with a big knife.
Is it good movie?
I’m a big fan of urban legends. I like the stories about some lunatic on lover’s lane, or the maniac that licks hands just like the dog he butchered. And with 5 or Die, Tom Holland uses the idea of that deadly e-mail that you must send to 5 friends or something bad will happen. And here, bad things do happen. The short revolves around three “teenagers” played by Brandon Fobbs, Madeline Zima and James Snyder. Each one ends up logging in and finding some poor slob complaining that they only have five minutes left, and unlucky for them, they were right. The boogeyman that hunts these innocents, is sort of a cross between Freddy Krueger and a ninja, or something like that. This dude brands a machete and he ain’t afraid to use it. He slices and dices through these victims who sit at their computer and wait for the timer to run out. Which leads to the most significant annoyance within the film… GET THE F*CK OUT! Although they do make a reference to why they don’t do just that in the script, but it still irked me.
But one thing Mr. Holland does oh so well, is paranoia. He did it in Fright Night and he even did it in Child’s Play among his other films. He is able to create some real suspense even if you do have problems with some of the choices the characters make. And their mistakes cost them dearly, which brings us to the special effects, the gore and bloodshed are real fun times. You get sliced necks, you get multiple stabbings, cut off fingers and all sorts of bloody syrup splashing about. And considering this is a nineteen minute short, I was impressed at what Vince Guastini, the FX man created. They also use modern technology in an interesting way. Each character is linked only by their computer camera. Each one waiting as they talk with one another, trying to figure out if this urban legend is the real deal. I did find some of the dialogue tedious as these folks seems to be sort of low on brain cells, but the cast is likeable enough, and the tension is delivered swiftly that it still pulls you in. And in October, this little slice of horror will be available on StrikeTV for you to enjoy and even leave your thoughts for all to see… including Mr. Holland.
Video / Audio
A satisfying offering from Tom Holland in the horror genre. 5 or Die is a unique slice of horror that preys on the whole chain e-mail theme. The baddie is creepy and the special effects are surprisingly good for what looks to be a very low-budget short. Mr. Holland is able to crank up enough tension so that even though his actors seem a bit dim, you get a little spooked when the Ninja Freddy comes with his machete in hand. I’m looking forward to seeing where the internet takes us in terms of horror… there are a lot of scary things out there!