Michael Merino, Rolfe Kanefsky
Awakening in a secluded warehouse - Science teacher Rachel Phillips finds herself prisoner amongst five other faculty members. All from the same place, all from Wootton High School. It seems that each of them is trapped in neighboring holding cells and faced with a horrifying dilemma. When confronted by a partially masked sadistic figure who identifies himself as "The Warden," the audience quickly learns he is the host of a twisted online game called "AND THEN THERE WERE..." The objective of the game? For its "contestants" to perform acts of self-harm - and see who can earn the most "likes" from the game's online viewers. The event is live-streamed across the dark web, making it almost impossible to trace. Add two useless Detectives into the mix - along with a few buckets of blood and some nail-bending, inventive, stomach-turning kills - and this film is on its way to being a horror-lovers ideal flick.
"Death Count" is the latest stab from the filmmakers at the horror subgenre of torture porn. Written by Michael Merino and Rolfe Kanefsky, with Michael Su manning the directors' chair. As a huge fan of horror movies, I must admit - this isn't my favorite subgenre; however, I do appreciate it when done well - and "Death Count" certainly delivers a reasonably satisfying ride. It will even keep die-hards hooked ... for the most part. However, as the story ventures into familiar territory, it eventually gets too comfortable in its own silliness making
the characters easy to dislike - and had me ultimately cheering for the villain himself. But is that really such a bad thing when it comes to horror? You will have to be the judge of that.
When it's all said and done, and the fat lady sings, "Death Count" knows exactly what it is - and wastes no time getting on with it. Even though it never "really" strays from convention - and certainly has little or no interest in expanding upon or adding to the genre as a whole, it's
competently executed, and the editing keeps it moving along at an exciting pace. Again, very well done, and "Death Count" easily earns a solid three stars.