Dry Bones (DVD)

Always keep your bones moisturized.

When he was a kid, Drew (Michael O’Hear, Snow Shark) was terrified of the monster under his bed, only to have said monster kill his abusive father. Now, years later, Drew has come home after therapy, to sell his parents’ house. After reuniting with his estranged sister (Kathy Murphy) and his old childhood crush (Debbie Rochon, Dr. Horror’s Erotic House of Idiots), Drew experiences some horrific encounters, and wonders if it’s in his head or if the monster has returned.

I was really looking forward to Dry Bones. The idea of the monster under the bed is one of the all-time great fright images, and an entire horror movie based on just that could be and should be a no-fail concept. But fail they did. Hoo boy, did they fail.

Filmed on the teenie-weeniest of budgets, Dry Bones is strictly amateur hour. It’s not a horror movie, but more of an approximation of what someone who doesn’t know horror thinks horror might be like. The cinematography is flat—the simplest framing and staging with no attempt at atmosphere. There is a lot of sitting around and talking to fill time, as the scant few visual effects aren’t enough to carry a feature-length runtime. The acting is equally flat, with long pauses in the dialogue where the actors stop to remember their lines.

The biggest offense is producer and co-director Michael O’Hear casting himself as the emotionally tortured main character—but one who still gets it on with all the female characters. He sleepwalks through the movie with his zero-energy performance, and he’s the one we’re supposed to follow for the whole thing. Scream queen Debbie Rochon is probably the movie’s biggest draw, and she’s certainly better than the rest of the cast, but her few go-crazy scenes aren’t enough to save this thing.

The DVD transfer is clean, but can’t do much for the hard-on-the-eyes shot-on-video look of the movie. The 2.0 audio is equally clean but dull. The disc comes with a commentary that’s as subdued and staid as the movie. The only highlight here is the behind the scenes featurette, with a good look at just how extremely low-budget this movie was, and what it took to get it made.

The Verdict

What’s under the bed? Just some dust bunnies and a guilty verdict.

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