Dead & Beautiful is a 2021 Dutch horror film about a group of young and spoiled rich youths that turn into vampires after a night out, changing the course of their lives and driving a wedge between them all.
Written and directed by David Verbeek, the House on Fire International-Lemming Film movie stars Gijs Blom, Philip Juan, Anna Marchenko, Yen Tsao and Aviis Zhong.
“While Dead & Beautiful sounds fun on paper, it never really gets out of its way long enough to truly enjoy itself. It also never really earns any serious moments that it tries to manipulate us into believing are deep. Instead, I finished the movie and found myself thinking back to Anastasia and Lulu’s conversation at the beginning. I also felt the sense of ennui that they expressed.” Dread Central
“Considering Dead & Beautiful covers such profound topics as consequences, the influence of wealth, and identity, it’s quite notable just how superficial the whole thing feels […] I don’t mean it in a derogatory way, but rather that it is deliberately done in order to make a suggestion about the ultra-wealthy set: there is little substance to these people, even when they are given the opportunity to take their lives in a new direction.” Horror Obsessive
“There’s talent to be found in Dead and Beautiful. That first scene is very fun, but it never gets to that level again throughout the rest of the 90+-minute runtime. If this was a surface-level popcorn movie there wouldn’t be much of a problem, but it tries to be something more, and that’s where Dead and Beautiful makes its biggest mistakes.” Movie Babble
“The ultimate point is not lost, but boy does it take its time getting there. The twisty conclusion is likely to be telegraphed by anybody who has seen a film in the last 30 years, but the final act is where things get really interesting. Still, if nothing else it proves that watching the rich and listless is a poor substitute for being on the inside.” The Reel Bits
“None of these characters are particularly easy to sympathize with […] But each of the billionaires gets his-or-her moment in the sun, and while characterizations are slight, that actually fits the narrative. All actors give decent performances, but Aviis Zhong has to do most of the weightlifting here and if this were a contest, she’d win.” Screen Anarchy
“In a genre sense it doesn’t equate to horror and as lovely as the film can (and often does) look, splashed in the neon of the city, it is ultimately soulless. The twists are interesting, not that I’ll spoil them here, but ultimately this is style only and character substance is missing – whether that says much of the writer/director’s view of the subject (ie the ultra-rich), is unclear.” Taliesin Meets the Vampires
“The film has all the makings of a cult-classic. Visually opulent, with performances that at first might seem a little bland, then morph into pristine camp, enriching the whole film with an element of self-awareness. The five friends even reassure themselves that ‘We’re not in a movie’, and yet so much of the film is preoccupied with cinema, with nods to the vampire films that have preceded it…” UK Film Review
“Dead & Beautiful does try to give the audience a couple of twists in the last act, but they don’t work at all. The characters never develop or change, so the sudden reveals feel artificial, just dropped in for their own sake. Of course, if the characters did have some kind of a story arc, if their experiences had an effect on them, Dead & Beautiful would have been a different film. But they exit the film as vapid and unlikable as they entered it.” Voices from the Balcony
Dead & Beautiful will stream on Shudder from Thursday, November 4, 2021.
Prior to that, the film will be shown at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX on Saturday, September 25, 2021: “Filled with hazy neon cityscapes, chic clothes, and mesmerizing needle drops, Dead & Beautiful is a decadent, excessive, engrossing work of art. It’s the spiritual sibling of Only Lovers Left Alive, crafted with similarly textural visuals and beautiful characters lounging with the chicest of existential malaise.”
Cast and characters:
Gijs Blom … Mason
Philip Juan … Bin-Ray
Anna Marchenko … Anastasia
Yen Tsao … Alexander
Aviis Zhong … Lulu