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Monday, 8 May 2017

He Never Died - Netflix Film Review


This had popped up on my suggested films on Netflix a few times and up until now I had ignored it, mainly because it said “because you watched Van Helsing” so I assumed it wasn’t going to be great (See my review of Van Helsing here). However, on a slow Sunday afternoon where I couldn’t commit to binge a new series it found its way onto my screen.

This is an indie film, but the quality is so good I don’t think you would ever notice. High budget special effects weren’t really necessary so they didn’t try and the result is a very well-polished film. I hadn’t heard a word about this film upon realise so when I started watching I was very surprised by just how good it was.

For those of you who have watched supernatural, I don’t think it will take you long to figure out who the mysterious character is when you know he isn’t a regular bloke. I guess the thing I liked most about this film is that it seriously underplays the supernatural element and doesn’t both giving you any kind of half thought out explanation,  he just is what he is and as far as you know he is the only supernatural part of the film.

It takes a very good film to create a compelling story when the main character cannot come under any threat and doesn’t really care about anything other than maintaining a routine, but they managed it. It’s clear that “Jack” keeps himself to a routine for the safety of others, but it seems as if it’s just a routine or a series of habits rather than being something he is particularly fussed about.  It’s like he doesn’t want the hassle, rather than being bothered about hurting people.

So, the main character is almost entirely morally ambiguous, immortal, very cool and hilarious. All of the comedy in this film, of which there is a lot, comes from Henry Rollins portrayal of the main character. He delivers these deadpan uncaring and blunt responses that are priceless. For example when he finds out he has a daughter and is asked to help look for her he replies “an abortion is only $300, you could have afforded one”.

The main character has one hobby, Bingo. I assume this is partly because it’s quite amusing, but I think it is also a hint that he is really old, much older than he looks.

As the description on Netflix will tell you (so I’m not giving any real spoilers) he is a cannibal. There is a brief reference to him being a Vampire but they didn’t dwell on it because he isn’t really. He is immortal and needs to eat humans to keep the voices away, so if you think about it he is essentially a dark supervillain where no hero existed to try and end him.

In most stories such as these, we come in looking at the character when they are in their prime or at the start of their journey. This is a film about a character whose story cannot end and so he is just going through the motions, staying alive because he has no choice.

 In my opinion, the film this is most like is Constantine; except it’s a lot better because it’s not “Hollywood Dark” it’s actually a dark film that isn’t afraid to be very different. I have read that they are potentially going to make either a sequel or a miniseries continuation, which if Rollins and Writer/Director Jason Add to dictionary are both attached to, will be very worth a watch.

Summarise!

This was a very interesting film, taking lots of risks by avoiding any clichés often relied upon in these genres. I would say that if there is one film on Netflix right now you should watch this is it.

4.5/5 Slices 

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