Film & VOD Review: I’ll Take Your Dead

The Travel Channel has lately been wall to wall shows about ghosts haunting places around the country. My favorite is Dead Files where a woman walks around and sees the dead complain about how they were violently killed on the property. Then her cop partner uncovers the homicide file to prove the ghosts have a reason upset at being stuck there. But rarely do they ever have an angry ghost who was killed in one place and disposed at the property. I’ll Take Your Dead is a very morbid tale of a child dealing with ghosts, becoming a teenager and her dad’s low key profession.

Gloria (Odd Squad‘s Ava Preston) is growing up with her dad William (Suicide Squad‘s Aidan Devine) on a remote farm. Turns out that dad has a part time job when the farm isn’t working out right. He’s known in the area as The Candy Butcher. He doesn’t kill people, but he makes them disappear using his workshop in the basement. Although there are rumors he eats the bodies or stitches them together as Frankenstein monsters. The local hoodlums use his services. Gloria has a clue that dad is not quite running a funeral home business in the basement when the bodies get dumped in the driveway. She does see ghosts lurking around the house from people who had been dumped on the porch. William tries to have a few rules as to what he will do, but when you’re engrossed in an illegal activity, the rules bend since your clients might have you meet the next Candy Butcher. However things go bad quick when the latest batch of bodies includes a surprise. Turns out Jackie (Orphan Black‘s Jess Salgueiro) wasn’t shot to death when she was caught in an ambush. William learns this when she wakes up on his slab. Gloria wants Jackie dead for fear that bad things will happen. But William doesn’t get paid to kill people. He’s not sure what to do since he doesn’t have the phone number of the hoodlums that dropped Jackie off as dead meat. He ties Jackie to the bed and tries to figure out what to do.

I’ll Take Your Dead is a tight and tense mix of a mobster flick with a supernatural horror. They twist enough of the plot so you can’t be sure how things will play out. Gloria is not written like the girl who didn’t know what daddy was doing. She’s as cold blooded as the real killers. She’s spooked by the ghosts, but not completely terrorized. Her relationship with her father doesn’t get glossed over. She’s interested in his career, but not eager to join the family business. The three main actors work well off each other when not dodging bullets and the undead. The nearly all the action takes place in the remote farmhouse. Cinematographer Jeff Maher (Bite) keeps a claustrophobic feel that doesn’t let up. The place is packed with the living, dead and the not-quite dead. Director Chad Archibald is able to keep a tone that allows the family, gangster and supernatural elements to mix without making you ponder if you’re watching different movies. At its core, I’ll Take Your Dead is a remarkable young girl’s coming of age story that doesn’t bask in the usual nostalgia.

I’ll Take Your Dead is playing select theaters across the country and also premiering On Demand starting May 3.

Shout! Studios presents I’ll Take Your Dead. Directed by Chad Archibald. Screenplay by: Jayme Laforest. Starring: Aidan Devine, Ava Preston, Jess Salgueiro, Brandon McKnight, Ari Millen and Michael Reventar. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 84 minutes. Released: May 3, 2019.

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