Dead Before Dawn is a teen comedy that happens to have demons in it. Although, they are really just zombies being called demons.
So this kid’s grandfather owns an occult shop, and there’s this skull urn the kid has been forbidden to ever touch. Unfortunately, to impress this girl he likes, he touches it in front of a bunch of their friends…and it breaks, unleashing a curse. Now, if any of these kids looks into someone’s eyes, that person kills themselves and comes back as a hungry demon!
Soon, this group of friends is on the run from a whole high school of demons, using an RV as they go on a scavenger hunt for the ingredients to break the curse. All the usual suspects are present: the plain main dude, the jock, the cheerleader, the black guy, the stoner, etc.
Dead Before Dawn has plenty of goofy funny moments and horror humor (I laughed out loud several times), but it’s also a rather adolescent and shrill flick. One gag used repeatedly is the “gang-scream.” Yep. Every time something scary happens, they break out in a chorus of screams. It really starts to lose its charm after a few times….
The demonized people look cool, there’s some gore, and even some sexy football demons! One hot-bodied dude runs around shirtless and the other wears a jockstrap. But they totally copped out–he’s wearing the jockstrap over boxer briefs! WTF??? Other than that, it’s sort of a rinse and repeat flick; the kids run from a group of demons, stop to rest, fight off more demons, run, etc.
Most notable is that the grandfather is played by Christopher Lloyd! And yes, he has a Back to the Future throwback moment. He also turns into a demon-zombie! Seeing him in horror gave me a throwback moment…to “Go to the Head of the Class,” that awesome episode of Amazing Stories!
If you’ve seen all the other teen horror comedies, Dead Before Dawn is an okay option. Personally, I preferred the similar movie Detention of the Dead.