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Film: Dread
Dread is a 2009 film directed by Anthony DiBlasi based on a short story written by Clive Barker.

Three college students set out to do a project on people's innermost fears. One of them, a disturbed young man named Quaid who witnessed his parents get murdered as a child, takes the project to the next level.

Was part of the After Dark Horrorfest film festival.


This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Given that the source material is a short story, this is to be expected.
  • And I Must Scream: The final fate (presumably) of Cheryl.
  • Ax-Crazy: Not only the guy who killed Quaid's parents, but by the end, Steven and Joshua as well.
  • Blood Is Squicker in Water: When Abby is in the bathtub and tries to scrub off her birthmark.
  • Body Horror: After being humiliated by Quaid, Abby proceeds to scrub off her birthmark, which covers half of her body, in the bathtub...with steel wool.
    • She then proceeds to pour bleach all over the wounds in hopes of wiping it out.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Quaid gets away with his crimes with no repercussions whatsoever and is even in a better place at the end than he was a the beginning having overcome his 'dread'.
  • Canon Foreigner: Abby
  • The Chessmaster: Quaid
  • Decomposite Character: Steven and Joshua in the film were both derived from the same character in the novella.
  • Death by Adaptation/Spared by the Adaptation: In the original short story, Steven survives (albeit insane) and Quaid is killed.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Joshua returns and, assuming that Steven was working with Quaid when Quaid made him go deaf, kills Steven with an axe.
  • Distinguishing Mark: Abby has a birthmark that covers half of her body.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Cheryl is locked in a room with nothing but a knife and the dead body of her boyfriend.
  • Freudian Excuse: Quaid witnessed his parents get killed by a psycho with an axe. The other characters have skeletons in their closet as well.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Of the forced variety.
  • Karma Houdini: Guess.
  • Rape as Backstory: Cheryl was sexually abused by her father.
  • Sadistic Choice: Quaid puts Cheryl through this.
  • Shout-Out: To Batman. Quaid is the Scarecrow with Batman's origin story. The filmmakers seem to have taken this and ran with it, as the original character Abby is pretty obviously based on Two-Face.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Everyone becomes this under Quaid's "experiments".
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's hard not to feel sympathy for Quaid given what he went through. For the first half of the film, at least.
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