THOSE WHO DESERVE TO DIE (2019) Reviews and overview

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‘She doesn’t want to kill everyone. Only…’

Those Who Deserve to Die is a 2019 American horror feature film about murders that are connected by a caped figure, a young girl and a war veteran.

Written and directed by Bret Wood, the Illustrated Films production stars Dane Bingenheimer (Bridge of the Doomed; Absynthia; Irrational Fear; Range 15), Rachel Frawley (Cemetery Tales: Tales from Morningview Cemetery), Alice Lewis and Lynn Lowry (Pretty Fine Things; Model Hunger; Cat People 1982; Shivers).

Official synopsis:

‘Two stories unfold in an idyllic Southern town. A series of gruesome murders occur, committed by a caped figure accompanied by a diabolical young girl (Alice Lewis).

At the same time, an injured war veteran (Joe Sykes) returns to attend college and becomes emotionally attached to a social worker (Rachel Frawley), the daughter of a State Supreme Court Justice (Lynn Lowry).

As their relationship intensifies, connections between the victims and the veteran emerge, and Margaret realizes she may have the power to rescue Jonathan and halt the rising tide of death.

Inspired by Thomas De Quincey’s novella The Avenger, Those Who Deserve to Die is an elegy to heroism and justice in a time of CGI superheroes and political hopelessness.’


“Everything de rigueur in our Gialli of old and attendu in our yellow-syndromed Gialli of new spatters across Wood’s fantastique palate: style over ambiguous substance, eccentric characters of the ulterior and outright evil variety; each slopping their own baskets of red herrings, oozing colors, oddball lighting, enraptured set design—all of the symptoms cataloged by our cherished medical maestros Argento and Bava.” B&S About Movies

“The horror elements diminish as the story progresses and could be a significant turnoff for some. But the story is compelling despite some of the soap opera-ish love elements to the Jonathan-Margaret subplot, and the Berenice character ensures the atmosphere does retain a palpable level of dread.” Beats Boxing Mayhem

“Though the film has a lot going for it, there’s insufficient chemistry between Sykes and Frawley to make her attachment to him convincing. Sykes struggles with the requirement to suppress emotion and doesn’t really let us glimpse enough of what’s behind it to form an attachment of our own. The result is a film which sometimes feels as cold as the trauma it depicts.” Eye for Film

“If you can take the disturbing violence and uneven pacing, Those Who Deserve To Die is certainly worth seeing. It’s the kind of brutal, nasty horror that’s becoming increasingly rare lately. It doesn’t always succeed at getting the points it tries to make across.” Voices from the Balcony

Choice dialogue:

Justice Merrill [Lynn Lowry]: “Are you a killer or a coward?”


Those Who Deserve to Die was released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digitally by KinoNow on August 18, 2020. The physical editions include a number of extras, such as deleted scenes, promotional videos, and Bret Wood’s short thriller Security (2007).

Cast and characters:

Dane Bingenheimer … Maxim Lynn
Rachel Frawley … Margaret Merrill
Alice Lewis … Berenice
Lynn Lowry … Justice Merrill
Kelly O’Neal … Mrs Carlisle
John Schmedes … Clement Greene
Joe Sykes … Jonathan Wyndham
Stephanie Wilkinson … Harriet

Filming locations:

Atlanta, Georgia

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