The Deaths of Ian Stone (2007)
Directed by Dario Piana.
Cast: Mike Vogel, Jaime Murray, Christina Cole, Michael Feast.
2007 87 minutes
Rated: (for violence, some drug content and brief language).
Reviewed by Dustin Putman, November 10, 2007.
A mind-bending supernatural horror film with more promise than it delivers, "The Deaths of Ian Stone" hides its modest budget with high production values, solid acting, and fine visual effects work from Stan Winston Studio. What director Dario Piana cannot hide is a script by Brendan Hood (2002's "They
") that isn't half as ambitious as it wants to be. The up-and-coming Mike Vogel (2006's "Poseidon
"), magnetic onscreen, stars as the unfortunate title character, a man who each day is hunted down and killed by ghostly shapeshifters, only to wake up living a different life than the one he previously knew. As the days and deaths stack up, the viewer senses that each go-around is portraying a different time in his life. Expecting it all to cohesively add up is a different matter. If the first half is an enthralling, spooky hallucinatory ode to 1990's "Jacob's Ladder," the second half is like an unsatisfying, exposition-heavy cross between 1999's "The Matrix
" and 1991's "T2: Judgment Day." Suddenly, "The Deaths of Ian Stone" reveals itself to not be a meditation on life and death at all, but an inconsequential sci-fi hodgepodge of numerous plot holes and half-formed ideas.