Just Before Dawn (1981)

R   |    |  Horror, Thriller

Just Before Dawn (1981) Poster

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by Forest Ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area.... See full summary »



  • Katie Powell in Just Before Dawn (1981)
  • George Kennedy in Just Before Dawn (1981)
  • Gregg Henry and Deborah Benson in Just Before Dawn (1981)
  • Gregg Henry and Deborah Benson in Just Before Dawn (1981)
  • Mike Kellin in Just Before Dawn (1981)
  • Jamie Rose in Just Before Dawn (1981)

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21 February 2015 | videorama-759-859391
| A nightmarish hell pre dawn
JBD has something that a lot of other horror films lack. I knew that the first time I saw it. It stands above many others. It's funny to think this when it's scenario here is nothing knew. The film even has better actors for this type of flick, none better than Gregg Henry, and it's great to see him play a good guy. The actress playing his girlfriend, looks like a female version of him. Are they related? Again, despite the warning of an old buzzard (horror icon, George Kennedy, who else) not to venture into these dangerous woods, of course they pay no heed. Henry and co proceed in their R.V. into this elevated terrain, below quite a drop, (kind of has you thinking of RV with Robin Williams). The killer family (cliched) are of course deformed, some of them giants, very much Wrong Turnish 1. As they trek out into the mountains, the movie takes it time to pick off it's victims (I like movies that work this way) they are picked off gradually. JBD, an unhurried frightener flick, maintains much suspense, throughout, which it never loses, some of it truly claustrophobic. This horror is one of those few, I've actually found truly and effectively scary. Some moments, truly jangle the senses. Violence is restrained here too. Although JBD with a lot of instances and happenings which are cliché'd, what it has great suspense, which a lot of other films lack this much in volume, it's story structured with a master disciplined touch. It has a less is more thing going for it. The unrelated ten minute opening too is one of grand suspense, in a movie that pushes all the right buttons. There is a warning, on the cover that the last ten minutes of the movie may be intense or disturbing. What an over exaggeration, you'll see what I'm talking about, when you see that image.

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