A Horrible Way to Die

A Horrible Way to Die

Format: DVD + Blu-ray

Release date: 19 March 2012

Distributor: Anchor Bay

Director: Adam Wingard

Writer: Simon Barrett

Cast: A.J. Bowen, Amy Seimetz, Joe Swanberg

USA 201o

84 mins

Having impressed FrightFesters at last year’s festival, A Horrible Way to Die is now released on DVD and Blu-ray by Anchor Bay. An original take on the serial killer genre, it is seen mostly from the point of view of the former girlfriend of a murderer. After Garrick’s arrest, Sarah is trying to rebuild her life and address her problems, attending AA meetings, where she meets a sensitive young man. When Garrick is released, the film intercuts flashbacks of Sarah and Garrick’s lives together before she found out the truth about him with his journey down to the town Sarah now lives in, and her tentative new romance. Shot in an impressionistic, elliptical style, the film paints a nuanced picture, evoking the tenderness and love Sarah and Garrick shared, making her realisation of his betrayal all the more horrifying. A well-observed, evocative, heartbreaking story, it never feels sensational despite moments of violence, and develops slowly but compellingly, until all the pieces of the puzzle sickeningly fall into place.

Virginie Sélavy

This review was originally published as part of our coverage of Film4 FrightFest 2011.