Movie Review: ‘All My Friends Are Dead’

Director: Jan Belcl

Cast: Michal Meyer, Adam Woronowicz, Julia Wieniawa-Narkiewicz, Adam Turczyk, Nikodem Rozbicki, Monika Krzywkowska, Szymon Roszak, Michal Sikorski, Adam Bobik

Plot: A pair of detectives arrive at the aftermath of a huge house that resulted in the deaths of all but one participant. We jump back in time to learn what lead to this bloodbath.

Review: I’m partly disappointed this wasn’t based around a nihilistic dinosaur.

Comedy and horror is an oft-attempted, rarely successful fusion. The genres both garner similar responses from the audiences and there’s plenty of fun to be poked at the tropes of horror cinema, especially slasher. Few horror-comedies manage to rise above the level of cheap spoof relying on gross-out humour, or manages to make the jokes and horror entirely toothless. Sometimes having a clear separation between the two works best, like Cabin in the Woods and An American Werewolf in London.

All My Friends Are Dead takes a bumbling, comedy of errors approach which gives us a bunch of fun and sympathetic group of characters who we know are going to meet a violent end, we just don’t know how. We have a pair of high-school sweethearts who have drifted apart as she’s gotten into astrology and he’s focused on his hip-hop career. There’s a May-December relationship where the younger man is pursuing a commitment but she’s indifferent. A nervous young man is ready to propose to his first girlfriend, but she’s having concerns about her lack of worldly experience. There’s a couple of flatter stereotypes with the pair of nerdy virgins unable to talk to women, the promiscuous and insatiable twins and the guy with the camera.

The relationship dramas and annoying characters are certainly entertaining enough to engage the viewer as they try to pick out the dominos that will start falling towards the massacre, with the odd subversion of expectation to keep things fresh. It’s an enjoyable twist on the slasher that only misses the mark by not involving the bookends of the investigating detectives more throughout the film. It would have been a good time if we cut back to the detectives going through the crime scene body by body.

But the Netflix release of the movie comes with an extra special treat, and that’s in the subtitles. I recommend watching the movie with both the dubbed vocal tracks and the subtitles, because they were not done by the same people, nor were they in any way communicating. The overall message of the dubs and subs is the same but they both get there in very different ways. Different idioms, different running jokes and even different details to the characters. It’s a rollercoaster!

Rating: SEVEN out of TEN