I Didn't Come Here to Die (2011)
Directed by Bradley Scott Sullivan
Every now and again an indie film comes along that not only turns your head but leaves it spinning. A reminder that the art of filmmaking does not require a big budget or mainstream actors with bloated salaries who are only in it to walk the red carpets and see their faces on every publication known to man. To truly create art, you need a conglomeration of people (no matter how big or small) with a vision, drive, and passion. Bradley Scott Sullivan's debut feature film, I Didn't Come Here to Die, is the perfect example of that.
The story is simple. Several people looking to get away from their mundane everyday lives volunteer to head out into the woods to start building a summer camp for children to play in. All of our protagonists have their own reasons for being there. Some genuine, some really disingenuous. Either way, they're in it together, and it doesn't take long before the partying begins. Everything goes as planned until a horrible accident serves as the impetus for a gory body count that will at times leave your jaw on the floor.
And that's just the start of the fun!
This quirky horror comedy set in modern-day times hearkens back to the late Seventies and early Eighties in terms of tone and style and never once feels manufactured or forced. Yes, there's an overlay effect on the flick to give it a washed out and older looking appearance, but it sells thanks to some really slick editing and keen direction. What really sets I Didn't Come Here to Die apart from the usual pack, however, is how smartly written and well put together it is. There are moments that will have the viewer reeling in agony while laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. What we have here, kids, is a wickedly fucked up, fun, and completely unpredictable experience that is on par with the directorial debuts of some of horror's biggest heavyweights.
You may not know the name Bradley Scott Sullivan right now, but it's hard not to imagine him having a long and bloody good career working within the genre we all love so much.
It's a pretty safe bet that in ten or twenty years fans will be looking back upon I Didn't Come Here to Die with the same kind of fondness and affection we have now for films like Evil Dead, Dead Alive, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Simply put, it's an indie film experience at its most ferocious and finest. Seek it out. Take the trip! You'll be glad you did.
4 out of 5