Movie Review: DEAD ENVY

DEAD ENVY was directed by Harley Di Nardo who co-wrote the screenplay with Stacy Hullah. Di Nardo also stars alongside Adam Reeser, Samantha Smart, Carla Wynn and Joey Medina. The thriller follows an aging rocker who finds himself in over his head when he thinks he meets the perfect protege. 

Aging Rock artist David Tangier’s sense of identity is all but destroyed as he works cutting hair to provide a comfortable life for himself and his wife. His sound and age bind him to the Rock of the 2000’s, where his band Katatonic Spin once ruled the scene. David cannot tolerate that his entire existence has fallen prey to the persona of “the has been.” By taking one last long shot at maintaining his integrity, David sets out to organize the follow-up album that he never had the chance to make. When Javy Bates, a mysterious young musical talent shows up for a job at David’s salon, this Rocker thinks he has found a solution to his alienation. Initially guarded, Javy soon opens up… as he has an agenda of his own.

David Tangier (Harley Di Nardo) is a washed up rockstar who now operates a struggling hair salon with his wife Cecily (Samantha Smart). What happens is, David hires on Javy Bates (Adam Reeser) at his punk rock salon and this mysterious young man ends up being a musical talent who reignites David’s passion to get his career going again. The two get along great in the beginning and David has an instant liking to his talented new friend even though there’s warning signs everywhere that something’s just not right about Javy.

The thing is, Javy happens to be an obssessed fan and has strategically entered the picture with an unhealthy agenda that turns into a complete nightmare for David and his wife. Cecily already had her doubts about Javy from day one but goes along with the hire thinking it might turn into something special for David. The husband and wife find themselves in an awkward situation with Javy who finally ends up revealing his much darker side but what this reveal offers is the kickstart David has been needing to finally relaunch his musical career.

Bottom line is, Dead Envy ended up being a pretty cool psycho-thriller that deals with this washed up rockstar who’s been working on his comeback for years and finally gets his opportunity thanks to his mysterious musical prodigy who also happens to be a deranged psychopath. Not only did Harley Di Nardo direct this micro-budget thriller but he also co-wrote the screenplay and stars as the lead and to be honest I thought he did a good job with it except for the extremely short run time and tame excitement.

There aren’t any jumps, scares or gore in the movie that actually plays more like a Lifetime Original, so yeah, that’s how tame it is. What I did like is the punk rock vibe it has going on courtesy of Di Nardo and the uncomfortable performance by Adam Reeser who really sells his unhinged character that enters the picture. The movie has its flaws mostly because of its budget restraints but I think Harley Di Nardo really pulled it off considering what little he had to work with. All in all, I’d say if you’re surfing around and looking for something new to check out then this one is good enough for a one time watch. Dead Envy is now available On Demand.

Distributor: Random Media

Run Time: 72 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated


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