Rock Paper Dead – USA, 2017


‘Everyone’s dying to play!’

Rock Paper Dead is a 2017 American horror thriller directed by Tom Holland (Twisted Tales; Thinner; Child’s Play; Fright Night) from a screenplay by Kerry Fleming and Victor Miller (A Stranger is Watching; Friday the 13th) that is reminiscent of Holland’s own Psycho II (1983). It stars Michael Madsen, Tatum O’Neal and Maureen McCormick.

The soundtrack score is by Harry Manfredini (Needlestick; Friday the 13th films).

Serial killer, Peter “the Doll Maker” Harris returns to his ancestral family home after being released from the state’s hospital for the criminally insane after ten years – having been deemed to be a “cured” man.

Once inside the old house, anguished memories from a tortured childhood and ghostly visitations from his past victims shake Peter’s resolve. It isn’t until lovely young Ashley enters his life that Peter makes a fateful decision, a decision that will rekindle old desires that always ended in murder…


“It has a pretty awesome twist that I am still trying to render. In my opinion, that is what makes a great film. This is the kind of movie that delivers those jaw dropping moments and doesn’t let up for the entire run-time. It’s creepy, bloody, and mind-blowing.” Lacy Lou, Pop Horror

“Overall, Rock Paper Dead isn’t the usual dish you’d expect from Holland. It was a perturbing story of abuse, mental anguish, and senseless murder with steady pacing and emotional performances from the victims strapped to the maniac’s table. It had a lot of potential for scares, but the addition of them may have deterred from the real, focused story of Peter’s past.” Morbidly Beautiful

Rock Paper Dead is reminiscent of Psycho II. Peter is a Norman Bates character and you are left second guessing throughout the film. Also if you are just into horrors for the jump scares that is not what this movie focuses on, it is more focused on the storytelling and the psychological conditions of its characters.” The Crypt

“There is a familiarity to Holland’s film, almost a warmth, but Rock Paper Dead felt very cold and unforgiving. Maybe it’s a new tactic of his, I have no idea, but it didn’t have that signature flair that Holland’s films typically have. In regards to the writing, I felt like there needed to be some improvements and overall tightening of the script.” Shannon McGrew, Nightmarish Conjurings


“The story itself was well written, and is ornamented with unsettling bouts of severe mental abuse and discord among human beings, setting up a nice piece of framework that gives this killer some serious motivation – hell, Holland always had an aptitude for throwing all his cards on the table with his direction, and this film is no different.” Matt Boiselle, Dread Central

Main cast:

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Categories: 2017, psychological horror, psychopath, serial killer

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