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Dead of Winter (DVD Review)

23 Nov, 2008 By: Matt Miller

Dead of Winter

Street 11/25/08
$26.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for violence/terror, drug content and language.
Stars Brian McNamara, Al Santos, Sandra McCoy, Ella Joyce, Don Fisher.

In Brian McNamara’s spine-chilling thriller Dead of Winter, once-blissful couple Kevin (Santos) and Tiffany (McCoy) find themselves helplessly stranded in the middle of the snowy woods battling the elements while being hunted by an unknown predator.

It all starts at a New Year’s Eve party where Kevin and Tiffany, already high on life about moving in together, decide to snort crystal meth to jumpstart the night. What they didn’t expect was to also be slipped LSD, which creates a lethal drug cocktail that puts an abrupt halt to the night’s festivities.

After leaving the party, which proves to be their biggest mistake, they begin to notice someone following them. They think it might just be the drugs until the mysterious person appears in the backseat of their car, causing Kevin to drive off the road and sending the lovers frantically running off into the night to hide from whomever or whatever is stalking them.

But no matter how far they run, they can’t seem to escape. As this drug-induced nightmare unfolds, Kevin and Tiffany’s relationship breaks down as they begin to turn on each other as their inner demons emerge, leaving the couple unable to tell reality from fantasy. 

Dead of Winter, which claims to be based on actual events, is a classic psychological thriller reminiscent of The Shining, which is perfect for a cold Halloween or winter night fright. The film features a well-assembled cast led by two young, budding actors Santos (American Gangster) and McCoy (“The O.C.,” “Two and a Half Men”), who do a phenomenal job showing their descent into madness. Ultimately, McNamara (“Army Wives”), who directs and stars in the film, does an amazing job constructing a sharp, suspenseful, horrific tale that plays off people’s primal fear of the unknown.

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