The Deaths of Ian Stone

"Very Good"

The Deaths of Ian Stone Review


If Groundhog Day collided with Final Destination and The Butterfly Effect after getting rear ended by The Matrix, you'd have The Deaths of Ian Stone, an imaginative and unpredictable science fiction thriller that lends itself to the most recent 8 Films To Die For, After Dark Films' nationwide nine-day horror film festival held annually in November.

Groundhog Day, of course, followed an everyman as he relived a comically different version of the title day after day. Ian Stone approaches the frustrations of an all-American guy being stuck in a déjà vu time warp, as well, except with a lot more blood. Everyday, twenty-something Ian Stone (Mike Vogel) wakes up living a different life, and before the end of the day, meets a horrific death.

Ian retains memories of the lives he's lost, however, and has gathered clues that help explain his predicament. First, his former girlfriend (Christina Cole) appears in every life in a different form (as neighbor, co-worker, etc.) and always ties in to his demises. Second, Ian encounters a dark-cloaked character whose head spins, twists, and vibrates. This fellow isn't human, but a Harvester, an alien creature who feeds on human fear. There are a bunch of these, and they're all determined to murder Ian on a daily basis.

What do the Harvesters want with Ian? What does Ian's girlfriend have to do with all of this? And who the hell is the old man who keeps running into Ian and giving him information about the creatures that are hell-bent on his destruction? He better find out fast, because until Ian Stone can figure out why he's dying so much, the bloodshed will surely continue.

Alas, when Ian finds the answers, they're a bit too simple. Brendan Hood's (who also wrote Wes Craven's They) screenplay often relies on exposition, which is frustrating because he's clearly creative enough to use kinetic action instead of boring dialogue for explanation. Upon revealing these answers, Ian Stone turns from horror mystery to a paranormal X Files-esque flick that doesn't quite know how to transition from one genre to the next, and eventually resembles an adult video game.

Still, director Dario Piana (who has helmed mostly commercials and foreign TV series) keeps the film moving at a clean, tightly-wound pace. Stan Winston's (Wrong Turn) studio team creates gleefully inventive prosthetics and special effects, but Piana never relies on props to propel to action. Ian Stone maintains a violent and energetic spirit, seldom making for a dull moment.

Ian Stone's greatest asset is the actor behind Ian Stone -- Mike Vogel. Ever since The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Vogel has had a knack for acting in horror movies (he's appearing in several next year, including Cloverfield and Open Graves). His talents surpass the genre; he's one of the more underrated actors in his age range. He isn't a showoff like Chris Evans and doesn't overact like Seann William Scott; he brings a gentle, everyman charisma to his performances. He delivers Ian Stone with the perfect blend of confusion, desperation, and intensity. Vogel carries the film with strength and conviction, and proves himself more than worthy of future leading man roles.

Between Vogel's allure and Stan Winston's phenomenal production values, The Deaths of Ian Stone could have stood alone without the film festival gimmick. It's not a perfect film by any means, but it is sheer entertainment. And that's enough to make this a must-see for horror and science fiction fans alike.

Looks like a bad way to go.



The Deaths of Ian Stone

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th January 2008

Distributed by: After Dark Films

Production compaines: Odyssey Entertainment, Isle of Man Film Commission, Stan Winston Productions, SWFX

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 5.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Dario Piana

Producer: Brian J. Gilbert, Ralph Kamp,

Starring: as Ian Stone, Michael Dixon as Brad Kopple, as Jenny Walker, Michael Feast as Gray, Charlie Anson as Josh Garfield, George Dillon as Referee, as Medea

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.