Dead By Dawn opens with Lulu (Drew Lindsey Mitchell) who is clearly in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend Shane (Bobby Slaski). All she wants to do is go to a Halloween party but Shane gets angry whu he discovers Lulu has applied to college. The two get in a fight and she leaves still wearing her Red Riding Hood costume, and gets into a taxi. Teh taxi driver is dressed as a clown and as the journey continues he becomes more creepy.
Meanwhile. Dylan (Kelcey Watson) lives alone in a cabin in the woods and he is contemplating suicide with a gun barrel in his mouth but gets distracted by pleas for help from his front door and finds a bloodied up Lulu on his doorstep and lets her in. Soon enough, two men, Neil (Bo Burroughs) and Chad (Timothy Muskatell), and a woman, Snack (Jamie Bernadette), knock on his door and ask Dylan to release Lulu to him, but he’s quick to realize that they are not quoite as they seem.
As the villains circle the house all Dylan and Lulu have to fall back upon is the journal of Dylan’s deceased daughter (Skylar Dominique) detailing how to booby-trap a house in case of a zombie apocalypse.
What the movie lacks in budget it makes up for in tension. It is hard to maintain through a movie but that is one thing Dead By Dawn has going for it. Acting wise Kelcey Watson carries a lot of the weight of this movie on his shoulders and does well to lift it higher than it should be. Bo Burroughs also creates a niche for himself as the messed up psycho type which could see him playing cinematic nut jobs as a career. Production wise it is of a TV level but that does not hinder the narrative.
Verdict: 5/10. Dead By Dawn is not the most original premise but remains a well constructed film that unravels various character arcs throughout its narrative to impressive conclusions. It is violent and graphic when it needs to be whilst maintaining its vision.