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RJ Bayley Reviews: Deathly Presents

by RJ Bayley

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This reminds of the time the christmas-set game Batman: Arkham Origins came out on the PS3 and lesser gaming platforms (come at me bro PS 4 life). It released to a lukewarm reception, nothing stellar. Compared to groundbreaking, superhero genre defining video games, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, this seemed to be treading water. My opinion was that if this was the first game out in the Arkham series, if the other games didn’t exist, then Arkham Origins would be treated with a lot more reverence. Compared to the first two mind-blowing games, this one was only very excellent. It was just more of the same. Which was superlative, but it was the same kind of superlative. That’s still my opinion.

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And yet here I am with Bloody Cuts festive short, Deathly Presents, adopting the very same position I was adamantly against regarding another artwork in another medium in another genre. Maybe it’s because a different studio made Arkham Origins. Maybe it’s because it drastically shifted the timeframe and showed us well known but unseen settings. Maybe I’ve experienced vastly more horror shorts than I have video games. Or maybe it’s just because I love Batman. Whatever way, despite Deathly Presents being a very polished, nicely done film, more so that the majority of short films out there, I still expect more from Bloody Cuts. It’s just more of that same very polished, nicely done-ness. The structure is incredibly stock. There’s a couple of Luton buses, quiet quiet quiet… and then a jump scare. It’s a million different short horrors from vastly less accomplished or established filmmakers given a lovely gloss. I’d much rather have seen them put their resources into the writing rather than the look of the thing.

It’s the same high quality visuals you expect from Bloody Cuts with a fantasting monster mask, but that’s it. Very pretty. Very forgettable. Nice mask.

★★

Follow @RJBayley on Twitter, Facebook and keep up on his creative dayjob on rjbayley.com

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