Movie Review: Play Dead (2022)

Directed by Patrick Lussier, Play Dead is a 2022 horror thriller film. In order to steal evidence from the local morgue, Chloe Albright (Bailee Madison, The Strangers: Prey at Night) fakes her own death and awakens inside. Unfortunately, The Coroner (Jerry O’Connell) is not pleased at the intrusion, and a sickening game of cat and mouse ensues. Also starring are Chloe’s brother, TJ (Anthony Turpel), Ross (Chris Lee), Mannix (Jorge-Luis Pallo) and Sherriff Duggan (Chris Butler).

+ both of the leads are lots of fun, with Madison’s wide-eyed terror playing off perfectly against the familiar face of a rarely sinister O’Connell. It’s often difficult to be the well-dressed psychopath in a way that doesn’t come across as trying too hard, but I enjoyed O’Connell a lot. Of the supporting cast, only Jorge-Luis Pallo warrants any credit as the fast talking Mannix, though I intentionally leave his role here blank for spoiler reasons
+ the base setting of a morgue is already on the upper end of viable horror environments, but some specifics elevate it further. It is simple, but it’s not overplayed and that is only a positive. I found myself more invested than I thought I’d be by the time the better-than-I-expected climax came around

– I had a few issues with the pacing of an already relatively short movie; at least twice I assumed we were heading towards the home stretch, only for another rug to be pulled and some more obstacles to be piled up.
– there was one particular moment that I truly expected to play into the story more, but it just went nowhere. There was even some effort made to set it up as a point where something would happen, which makes it even more frustrating

Should you see this film: A short review for a short movie, this didn’t do anything new or must-see, but it also didn’t do anything wrong. But for a just over 90 minute horror movie, it was perfectly fine.

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