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Film / Dread

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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. For the original short story see Dread.

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.
  • 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'.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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  • 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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