Written and directed by Bradley Scott Sullivan I Didn’t Come Here To Die tells the story of a bunch of volunteers, sent out to the middle of nowhere to set up a camp for underprivileged kids.
Each of the six do-gooders has their own story and secrets, which reveal that some of them are in fact not so ‘good’. And as boredom and frustration takes over the disparate personalities, one booze fuelled night takes a tragic and stomach churning turn, sparking a series of events that rapidly spin out of the control of everyone involved.
Starting with a very stylistic opening, we see a lone cop survey the scene of a horrific car crash while something watches him from within some nearby woods. Bradley Scott Sullivan directs the movie with a flair and panache that is unexpected considering this is his first feature.
With some brilliant shots, great graphic gore and an excellent and interesting use of sound, the movie looks a million dollars more than its relatively low budget and massive credit goes to Sullivan for showing that you can make so much more from such a simple set up.
Story-wise too I Didn’t Come Here To Die is much more original than it might first appear. With possible comparisons to Friday 13th populating your mind as soon as you hear that the film is about some young nubile volunteers on a camp for kids, the script takes its time to build the characters, making sure that you feel firmly connected to each of them before things take a turn to the crazy.
All of the actors embed their characters with a complex credulity that works well in the scary and surreal situation that they all find themselves in. The cast of relative unknowns including Indiana Adams, Kurt Cole, Madi Goff and Travis Scott Newman are all excellent. Special mention must go to the amazingly named Niko Red Star who gives an awesome performance as the bad boy Chris.
As well as all the great gore and insane violence the film cleverly keeps the audience undecided as to whether the events are simply a random and horrible sequence of chaotic catastrophes or whether there is something more supernatural at work, propelling these unfortunates into the arms of death. This added element keeps the tension high, adding a depth and atmosphere to the film that would have otherwise been missing.
An entertaining filmic essay on the unforgiving random brutality of life and how close we all are to the edge of oblivion, I Didn’t Come Here To Die is a stunning horror debut showing promise for all involved especially Sullivan.
It also should serve as an inspiration to horror movie makers as it proves that with creativity and imagination you can make a movie on a low budget which looks and feels like a Hollywood horror but is ten times more original.
Read our Interview with Bradley Scott-Sullivan right here