UMP Review – Decay (2015)

A love for a decaying body, romantic baths and a detached psycho in all that – this horror is one fu**ed up thing.


The director of a stylish horror Decay, Joseph Wartnerchaney, plays the chords of a well-known melody, yet finds a truly artsy and disturbing way to do so – his film avoids the abominable tone of a gore trash and cheesy, violent graphics. It’s a piece reminding the ardent scary movies’ fans that the premise of a happening is more frightening than actually witnessing it.


Jonathan (Rob Zabrecky) is a lonely man, living in his mother’s house and working as a janitor in an off-season, desolate entertainment park. One day, he is paid an unexpected visit of two girls, but a tragic accident leads to deaths of both of them. Jonathan, drowning in his solemn existence, decides to keep a body of a brunette girl all for himself.

Decay offers a rather unusual – regarding modern horror – approach to the topic. The story itself is not strikingly original, yet Wartnerchaney manages to keep the gripping, disturbing mood all the way throughout the movie. A huge part is played by the photography, which is sublime, meticulous in its secret observation of Jonathan. It’s reaching out to inspirations drawn from Lars von Trier or likewise directors in its form too. There is not much of a dialogue in the film, thus most of the time we observe the protagonist actually acting (truly unexpected in this genre!). Truth be told, Zabrecky as a full-blown psycho, deeply lost in childhood traumas, delivers an actually convincing performance. The fascination with dead girl’s body, as disgusting as it sounds, leaves the imagination working, not revealing too much, but being held in Jonathan’s head. Finally, the soundtrack does a huge part too – varying from vintage tunes (Billie Holiday even) to crescendos of strings in the climax scenes or more electronic whizzing sounds – the music works fine in Decay.


As a fan of a-bit-more-ambitious horrors, I found Decay a refreshing proposition. It’s dipped in weirdo-atmosphere, slowly taking steps into protagonist’s paranoia. If you seek a non-gore, non-bloody horror, which keeps you confused for the whole time – give Decay a shot.

UMP Grade: 31/50

(Cinematography: 7, Plot: 5, Acting: 6.5, Soundtrack: 7, Quaintness: 5.5)

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