There's nothing like a home-invasion movie to make you wonder what you would do in a similar situation. We've had "The Strangers" and "Funny Games," and while both are great movies, the bad guys never really have a motive. This is where "As Good as Dead" differs. Article continues below
In the movie, Cary Elwes (Saw) plays a photojournalist who ends up being held hostage in his own apartment by two men (Frank Whaley, Matt Dallas) who claim that Elwes' character has some information that they want. He is baffled by what that information may be, but his ignorance just enrages the men further. Before he knows it, he is being threatened and tortured, all the meanwhile he is completely clueless why he is in the predicament that he's in.
As the movie progresses, the story unfolds and we find out that Elwes is suspected of murdering a religious leader many years ago and that the men are there to get revenge. But did they kidnap the right guy?
"As Good as Dead" is clearly a low budget movie, but with a cast like Elwes, Whaley, Dallas, Andie MacDowell and Brian Cox, this movie is enjoyable on many levels. However, story-wise, there's really not all that much that's memorable. As much as I tried to get sucked in, I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters. Until the end, there's really no clear answer whether Elwes is an innocent man or a murderer. And whether the two men are cold-blooded criminals or just trying to avenge the death of someone close to them. I simply wasn't sure who to root for.
And it didn't help the fact that the film was so straight-forward. It tries to throw a few twists at the audience, but most of them are predictable or at least not very surprising. Simply put: if you're hoping for originality, you won't find it here.
In the end, many will find this movie entertaining, mostly for the acting and the psychological/physical torture. And even though "As Good as Dead" may have a motive for its characters, I still prefer "The Strangers" and "Funny Games."