I may have asked this question of myself a few times while watching this movie. I wish I had nicer things to say about ARE WE DEAD YET, but unfortunately, it’s a horror comedy that is not very funny and not scary at all.

ARE WE DEAD YET is the tale of a group of dumb and scared criminals who end up at a not very imposing castle while some equally dumb and scared rural cops avoid apprehending them while yet another group of dumb and mean criminals has set the first group up, kind of, so that they can steal the legendary gold from the mansion while a large group of goofy, yet unfunny ghosts try to sell the place and scare the criminals so as to be able to leave this plane of existence except for one ghost who is convinced he’s going to Hell and wants to stay. Everyone is so dumb they spend the majority of the time arguing with each other rather than trying to achieve their aims. I think that about covers it. Wait, one of the main characters from the hero criminal group keeps talking about how the black guy always dies in a horror movie. I thought the actor playing the character was game and likable, so I didn’t wish he died like I normally would, but if the movie lasted longer, I would have. This is the kind of movie where, spoiler alert! the ghost characters ask ARE WE DEAD YET? in unison. No, really. 

Produced, written and directed by Fredi “Kruga” Nwaka, this movie seems to be cobbled together from many other parts: a little bit of Beetlejuice, some What We Do In The Shadows, and a dollop of Free Fire. There are probably more movies I could list, but I’m not a film studies teacher, just your faithful reviewer. 

The plot seems to shift to whatever the needs of the next set piece or gag is rather than a story that progresses in a specific direction. There have been many comedies that have a static situation and stick with it rather than telling a well developed story, but if you do that, you’ve got to have jokes that land. As it is, the ending is a very pat, but seemingly emotional resolution that comes from out of nowhere. Other than that, the movie simply stops, leaving this viewer with the feeling that they merely ran out of gas.

I will now list the positive aspects of ARE WE DEAD YET:

The lead actress has some luxe hair extensions.

Many of the supporting characters are played by engaging actors like Kyla Frye, Faisal Mohammed, Bradley Turner, Ritchi Edwards, and Fabrizio Santino that I wish had more to do than shout at each other.

At a late stage, some zombies were introduced. I’m always pleased to see some of the Living Dead.

The ghost who wants to stay because he’s afraid of Hell. That’s a pretty cool idea.

In summation, I appreciate the effort, but I can find very little about this movie to convince you to spend your time watching it.

Life is too short. 

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Dolores Quintana

Dolores Quintana is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles. She has written for blogs as diverse as Buddyhead, Pocho.com, and The Theatre @ Boston Court. She works as an actor in independent film and both immersive and traditional theatre with Alone: an Existential Haunting, Screenshot Productions, and Native Voices at The Autry.
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