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The Dead Experiment

Montreal Premiere
  • Canada
  • 2013
  • 74 mins
  • HD
  • English

Chris, a brilliant young scientist, returns home after an absence of two weeks. His arrival doesn’t in the least please Maggie, his girlfriend. Instead of running into her darling’s arms, she is rather paralyzed by an inexplicable terror. Inexplicable? Well, not exactly. Only a couple of weeks before, Maggie had attended the funeral of Chris, who had died in the throes of a severe fever. Yet now he stands before her in perfect health. The young man has no memory of that fateful day and refuses to believe his girlfriend. It takes no time for her statements to be validated and Chris must then come to the realization that something truly extraordinary has occurred. Only his colleague and friend Jacob possesses the key to the mystery. For a certain time, both scientists were working incessantly on a medical treatment that, through the manipulation of cells in the body, could heal all illnesses and even vanquish death. After Chris’s sudden passing, Jacob took the morally questionable decision to do a first test on a human subject. Apparently, the experiment was a success. Now in possession of a cure that could change the world, the scientists are confronted with the responsibility of their discovery, the important issues that arise from it, as well as their own conflicting ambitions. Tensions rise between Jacob and Chris just as the latter begins to experience alarming side effects.

At once horrific and cerebral, the independent production THE DEAD EXPERIMENT situates itself somewhere between RE-ANIMATOR and PRIMER. Thanks to an excellent screenplay, Canadian filmmaker Anthony Dixon fuses wild scientific theories with a morbid tale, to the audience’s great pleasure. Instead of turning towards overly theatrical gore, this rising director opts for a restrained drama. The action takes place behind closed doors in a suffocating atmosphere, in which all three protagonists debate the fate of humanity that they now hold in their hands. Dixon also describes with great sensitivity the emotions linked to the loss of a loved one — as well as to his return from the dead. Following the wave begun a few years ago with THE CORRIDOR, THE DEAD EXPERIMENT demonstrates once again that Canadian genre cinema is active and growing thanks to new talents who produce original and remarkably mature works.

Fantasia 2013 - The Dead Experiment from Fantasia Film Festival on Vimeo.

— Simon Laperrière