The Deaths Of Ian Stone

The Deaths Of Ian Stone


Reviewed by: Darren Amner

The Deaths of Ian Stone has an original concept to it, which is one of its appealing features. From the title alone it could be defined as a horror – however, it isn’t. It’s a blend of sci-fi and romance with flourishes of gore and scares. It’s the story of Ian Stone (Mike Vogel) a man who is murdered each day, only to wake up to a new scenario, in which he leads a different life.

When he begins his new life each time, he is plagued by the memories of his past. Confused and feeling as though he is going insane he discovers he is being stalked by unnamed assailants and cannot explain why they are targeting him each time.

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The one consistent memory he recalls vividly is Jenny, (Christina Cole). Every time he is reincarnated, it is her face he recognises, which leads him to wonder if she is tied into his fate somehow. Jenny appears in each of his lives in a different role, Stone figures the only way to work out what is happening to him is to keep her safe, in a bid to finally put to rest his ongoing torment.

Vogel is captivating in the lead role and each of his incarnations is interesting, as is his journey, as he tries to put the pieces of this puzzle together – essentially he is the film. Cole provides able support as Jenny.

All the characters suffer from a slightly under-written script which, despite some original ideas, is a little too ambitious in its blending of genres and lacks focus. Dario Piana, making his directorial debut, certainly has an eye for visuals and creates a very atmospheric look; framed beautifully, the images are glossy and well-polished. Piana is a confident stylist and his visual panache is welcome here. In a story that is very dark, his visuals provide the light.

The creatures from Stan Winston are somewhat disappointing; they appear mostly in a smoke and mirrors form. You see them skulking around in the shadows and it is not really until towards the end that they are fully revealed. I think the small budget coupled with a lack of back-story restricted the filmmaking.

The Deaths Of Ian Stone is a fun ride to take, the pace moves quickly and splices together some good scares, gore and action. Vogel is certainly one to watch and I would like to see him work together again with Piana on a production with a bigger budget, that would really show and develop their creativity a little more and fully fledge out the promise they show here.

You should definitely check out this film, it’s likely to have more of a release on DVD but its originally alone makes me want to commend it, especially when it would be easy to knock out another torture-porn film because that’s what the studios think horror audiences want to see (we don’t). As a keen genre fan I appreciate unique storytelling and The Deaths Of Ian Stone delivered enough to keep me hooked for its short running time. It is imaginative and unpredictable – seek it out.

Reviewed on: 03 Jan 2008
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The Deaths Of Ian Stone packshot
Waking up each morning is murder for a man facing multiple existences.
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Director: Dario Piana

Writer: Brendan Hood

Starring: Mike Vogel, Christina Cole, Jaime Murray, Andrew Buchan

Year: 2007

Runtime: 98 minutes

Country: UK, US


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