Review: DEADCON (2019) – Cinepocalypse 2019
YouTube content creators and Instagram influencers are the current equivalents of reality TV stars. And just as we’ve had movies like LA Slasher and My Little Eye about killers targeting them. It’s now the turn of these new celebrities to die for our entertainment. We’ve had films like Clickbait and Slasher Party already. Now we can add Deadcon, which sets up a convention full of the famous for being famous and their fans for slaughter.
It’s 1984 and something goes horribly wrong at TechCon84. We’re not sure what but it involves a failed product called LinkRabbit and “Bobby” who claims to live in a computer.
Present day, and YouTube stars Ashley (Lauren Elizabeth) and Megan (Claudia Sulewski) are heading to Viewcon to see and be seen with some of their millions of followers. Ashley finds her room double booked and ends up in Suite 2210A, which seems to upset several older staff members. Megan meanwhile finds her relationship status going to “It’s Complicated”. She finds herself caught between Ricky (Lukas Gage, Assassination Nation) her current boyfriend and new guy Dave (Keith Machekanyanga).
As you can guess, Room 2210A was the room we saw in the prologue. And having somebody in it has woken up whatever evil was lying dormant in there.
Deadcon has two major problems. First of all, there’s nobody really likable in the movie. Ashley and Megan have no personality. Whether that’s intentional or due to bad acting, (both are played by YouTube celebrities, not real actresses), and writing I can’t say. Ricky is one those annoying bro dudes that are all over YouTube, the kind you really want to throat punch. Dave is set up to be a nice guy. Until you find out he secretly recorded himself in bed with Megan. Something else caught on that tape turns out to be important to the story though.
Which leads us to the second problem. Despite the setting, almost nothing is done with the YouTube/Instagram angle. Deadcon is pretty much a generic haunted building film with The Shining being its influencer. Right down to Warren (Carl Gilliard) standing in for Scatman Crothers’ Hallorann. The fact everyone is recording everything does let the film go into found footage mode for the last few minutes. But really that’s all that’s done with the idea. And as an added insult, just what is going on is never explained.
Director Caryn Waechter (The Sisterhood Of The Night) and writer Scotty Landes (Ma) have fashioned a slick and watchable but utterly generic piece of PG-13 horror. Indeed, the buzz around Ma may have been what got Deadcon, which I believe was shot in 2017 as Followers, released.
Gunpowder & Sky are releasing Deadcon via their horror division Alter. It made its premiere at Cinepocalypse and will play festival dates through the summer and fall. If you have time to kill between other films it’s watchable but hardly essential. You can check for dates on Alter’s Facebook page.