Black Dahlia

I’m glad for the chance to offer a review on independent films when I can outside of the films emerging from the big studios. I like both. Unfortunately, this offering of a recent film I watched called Black Dahlia will be going in a very negative direction. My one positive comment is that you have to give props to the filmmakers for working on a modest budget and getting the film done as well as distributed, that’s no small feat for a film that’s good or bad…

Bad directing and writing, repetitive without substance, same tricks and set ups throughout the film, this would’ve been a much better short film. I found myself fast forwarding at times because of it being so drawn out. The same scenes with different victims just keeps looping, this is just plain lazy filmmaking and storytelling.

Images, editing tricks and effects way overused to the point of annoyance, losing all effectiveness. They use crotch shots and use of shock to try to make up for poor everything else. Editing is amateurish – choppy, jump cuts throughout and the sound quality at times is really poor. This is a technical nightmare.

The “scary” parts just aren’t very scary and the gory parts are set up merely for the sake of being gory. The death scenes drag out in a gratuitous, pretentious way throughout and again are really repetitious.

In terms of the writing, the characters aren’t very dynamic, neither are the actors portraying them, everyone is pretty much one note; flat and boring after a short time.

The use of music is ridiculously epic and distracting, the audio mix has music with lyrics masking parts of the main dialog, it’s poorly engineered. Oh, and they do music video style cannibal segments after they kill someone.

While I applaud them getting distribution for this film, I still question how and why? As you can imagine, I’m not recommending this one.

reviewed by Sean McKnight