TV Movie Review: Dead Souls

Genre: Horror | Suspense

Air Date/Time: Friday, October 12 at 9/8c

Network: Chiller

Summary: For his 18th birthday, Johnny Petrie is presented with some surprising news. Not only was he adopted but also learns that he has inherited his birth family’s farm in Maine, abandoned for the past 17 years since his natural family died at the hands of his father, the local preacher. Eager for a new life, he leaves home to start over in his new dwelling. However, as he digs into his past, he soon uncovers the horrifying details of his father’s quesitonable studies. In a frightening revelation, he also learns that his return has revived decades-old forces trapped in the home and sets in motion a heart-stopping finale to a ritual that already claimed the lives of his family.

Dead Souls stars Jesse James (The Amityville Horror, The Flyboys) as Johnny, Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1,000 Corpses), Magda Apanowicz (Kyle XY, Caprica), Noah Fleiss (Brick), Jaiden Kaine (Hellbenders) and Geraldine Hughes (Rocky Balboa, Gran Torino). Adapated from the novel by Bram Stoker Award Finalist Michael Laimo, the film is written by John Doolan and directed by Colin TheysAndrew Gernhard and Zach O’Brien serve as producers for Synthetic Cinema International.

What a great movie! A good old Goldilocks scarefest that’s just right. Not too over-the-top, not too silly, but also not too involved, not too dark, with just enough blood and eye-popping action right from the start to last you until you’re almost too hungry but then tosses you some more. It moves along nicely, with a good balance of creepiness and suspense, classic characters, and a somewhat unusual “reason” for all the horror.

The cast is also just right. Jesse not-the-one-in-the-scandal-sheets James is a likeable lead, and it was great to see Magda Apanowicz again, after her work on Kyle XY and Caprica. Geraldine Hughes really rules as the rather disturbing mom.

The screener I watched had a “rough cut” warning on it, but honestly the production, including the effects and music (that creepy Spider song still hasn’t left my head), were great the way they were, and I hope there wasn’t much if any tinkering afterwards.

This screenwriter/director/producers combo worked together on Chiller‘s first original movie, Steve Niles’ Remains, and though that was an entertaining nailbiter, this movie seems to have benefited from the experience, because it’s better all around.

This movie is creepy fun if you like scares, and satisfying enough that I was able to sleep that night. If you’re looking for a completely terrifying experience that will keep you awake for days, this is not the movie you’re looking for. But if you want to have an entertaining, scary couple of hours that you’ll recall with a shudder every now and then, especially when you see a raven, definitely check this out.

I give Dead Souls Four Out of Five Stars.



Erin Willard
Written by Erin Willard

Erin is the Editor In Chief and West Coast Correspondent for