I Didn’t Come Here to Die (2013)

Debuts are difficult. Especially ones written, directed, edited and cinematographized by one person. One presumably impassioned, proactive and film-loving person. Debuts are difficult… especially when they turn out to be a little bit rubbish.

I Didn’t Come Here to Die is the feature debut of Bradley Scott Sullivan and although it has merit it is a seriously flawed piece of work. Occasionally enjoyable, outrageously silly in places, gleefully bloody and featuring an endlessly bizarre (and seemingly endless) finale, it will make an impact… although perhaps not the intended one.

When a group of strangers decide to go on a humanitarian mission to create an outreach camp in the middle of the wilderness, their goodwill task becomes a living nightmare. Why? Well, Jean-Paul Sartre said it best; hell is other people.

When one of the group is accidentally stabbed in the eye, the leader shuttles her off to a (fantastically swift-working) eye clinic, leaving the group to work together without authority. Unfortunately these adults seem to be possessed by 15 year old bratty twat-kids and everything quickly goes to hell…

Never have a group of peacemaking volunteers – who are willing to disappear into the wilderness for weeks for the goodness of mankind – turned out to be a bunch of genuinely horrible, cruel and bitter wankers. Not one of them is an actual peaceable, honest person. They all act like a bunch of juvenile delinquent scumbuckets on a trip to Alton Towers. This makes it impossible to like them, even if they do have the occasional funny line or get topless just for our titillation.

The plot is also incredibly simple and takes nearly 30 minutes to truly get going, which is unforgivable considering the running time doesn’t dip past 80 minutes! Luckily when it does finally arrive it’s surprisingly light and enjoyably bloody, with hanging, stabbing, axe-wielding and head bashing galore. Nothing vastly inventive but all done with a brutal charm!

As a debut film it’s not the worst calling card to the world. If this had been made in the 80′s it probably would’ve got a lot of attention but – despite displaying various 80′s horror tropes – I Didn’t Come Here to Die suffers in a modern world where throwback horrors are a dime-a-dozen and often an excuse to film something cheaply and with excusably pointless boobage.

The pace is unfortunately let down by some exceptionally poor writing. As mentioned earlier the opening sags horrendously, with an ‘everyone introduce themselves around the campfire’ scene that is snore-inducingly dull and a cheater’s way of introducing characters.

There is also an incredibly odd ‘Sheriff’ scene towards the end that is far too long and utterly absurd… to the point I can’t work out if Bradley Scott Sullivan was actually just taking the piss when he made this!

I Didn’t Come Here to Die is a rough, bloody and silly little horror debut. Seriously flawed and head-scratchingly odd in places, it’s probably not worth your time unless you’ve seen every other horror film ever made. Sorry Bradley.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

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