10 Slow Burn Horror Movies With An Underwhelming Pay Off

9. The Dead Center (2018)

You Are Not My Mother
Arrow Video

The Dead Center begins with a fascinating mystery. A man (Jeremy Childs) who’s been pronounced dead after a suicide attempt wakes up in a hospital morgue with no memory of who he is or what happened. Things only get stranger when other patients begin to die in mysterious circumstances, with the man believing something followed him back from the other side.

Seeped in a claustrophobic atmosphere, the ensuing investigation reveals that a dark presence inhabits the patient. But before anything can be done to put a stop to the violence that's been plaguing the hospital, the man is released after remembering his identity. It’s now down to his psychiatrist (Shane Carruth) to stop him.

However, it’s only at this point where the film begins to find its feet and the tension begins to set in. But with only minutes left to go, there’s not much this slow-burn mystery could do to stick the landing.

While the shift to gritty thriller is a refreshing change of pace, writer-director Billy Senese couldn’t satisfyingly close this case. What we’re left with is a cop-out twist in which the darkness is implied to have transferred to the psychiatrist, and that’s neither scary nor interesting.

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Glasgow-based cinephile who earned a Masters degree in film studies to spend their time writing about cinema, video games, and horror.