Dead Air Review- A Great Soundtrack And Good Twist Make For An Easy Watch
Dead Air is a family-friendly supernatural thriller from filmmakers Kevin and Vickie Hicks of Chinimble Lore.
Streaming everywhere Dead Air is the kind of film that is easy to watch on a weekend afternoon. It doesn’t require the viewer to watch every second obsessively and isn’t gory. This low-tech ghost story has enough going for the plot to make it worth a watch. It’s safe for the entire family and twisty enough to keep you interested. For fans of lowkey chillers, Dead Air is easy entertainment.
William(Kevin Hicks) is a widowed father of two who recently lost his mother. While clearing out her house, he comes across some old boxes of his father’s who died when he was a child. Included in the boxes are an old ham radio, some journals, and a picture. As he unpacks the boxes he also resurrects the old radio. He begins a conversation with a woman calling herself Melder Girl. Slowly he unravels the mystery of the woman who speaks as if she is from another time. Is she a fellow lonely friend or foe?
Melder Girl, whose real name is Eva, is played by writer and producer Vicki Hicks. She is agoraphobic and intensely paranoid. Eva has a dark secret, but over time she becomes more comfortable with William. Unfortunately, Eva isn’t the only presence on the radio. Little by little, something desperate and dangerous lures him in. The repressed memories from his childhood are creeping back. Somethings are best left forgotten. He must figure out what are truths and lies before he is lost in a shadow world he can never escape. The terrible trauma in his childhood could be coming back to haunt him.
Dead Air is extremely dialogue-heavy. It relies almost solely on the talents of Vicki and Kevin Hicks and your interest in the story. The first two-thirds set up an intriguing final act which reveals several twists. Some you see coming, and others are genuinely surprising. The use of a psychiatrist who treats William with hypnotherapy provides the obligatory expo dump needed to complete the big picture as the film races to its conclusion.
The micro-budget independent film doesn’t rely on any effects because the story doesn’t require them. The less is more styling serves the film well, and the soundtrack by Lonnie Park is excellent, particularly the end credit title song, which sounds like a cross between Hinder and Disturbed in the best way possible. Admittedly I’m a sucker for the early oughts soft metal sound. The pacing suffers from an extended set up which would have benefited from editing. Still, the short run time means you get to the finale fairly quickly and overlook the beginning’s excessive “talkiness.”
Comparisons to Frequency are fair. While the Dennis Quaid vehicle from 2000 was emotional and resonant, Dead Air focuses more on the fear inherent in the unknown. It is available everywhere you stream films right now.
As the TV/Streaming Editor for Signal Horizon, I love watching and writing about genre tv. I grew up with old school slashers, but my real passion is television and all things weird and ambiguous. When I’m not watching and writing about my favorite movies and series, I’m introducing my family to the wonderful world of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. My only regret, there is not enough time in the day to watch everything.