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The Deaths of Ian Stone
Genre Horror
Year: 2007

The Deaths of Ian Stone is a horror/thriller that is best described as a blend of Groundhog Day, The Butterfly Effect and Highlander. Ian Stone’s life is a recurring nightmare. Every day he dies at the blade of a dark evil force, which is intent on draining his identity one life at a time. The film’s concept is similar to that of Groundhog Day in its cyclical narrative. This story-telling device is dark, and has stylistic elements similar to The Butterfly Effect thanks to Stan Winston’s special effects team. They add finesse to this small budget horror and the effects give The Deaths of Ian Stone a big budget look and feel.

The movie also parallels itself with Highlander. The evil Harvesters have blades, they absorb the life force of their victims and Gray is a father figure much like Sean Connery. However, these comparisons are slightly flattering for this production. The cast is made up of Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Jaime Murray (Hustle), Christina Cole (Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day) and Michael Feast (Long Time Dead).

The Deaths of Ian Stone will go down as a decent horror/thriller movie. The concept borrows from a few films, the script is a little obvious at times and the design department were obviously inspired by Saw, The Matrix and Jeepers Creepers. However, these flaws are merely distractions in the overall experience. Piana has a good eye for action and each new environment is set in a suspended reality, while the evil seems to seep in and out of the movie like Agent Smith in the Matrix.

The Deaths of Ian Stone creates suspense in Stone’s quest to unravel the mystery, however the evil is let out of the gates too soon. This heightened intensity is terrific, but it can only last so long. The movie starts with a bang but reverts to horror clichés as the wheels spin faster and faster. The narrative concept and Winston’s presence form its backbone, however the average performances, magpie designs and horror clichés relegate this film to the land of the mediocre. It’s a good effort for its size, but would have had more bite with a bigger budget.

The bottom line: Flimsy.

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