[UK] JUST BEFORE DAWN Blu-ray Review

A group of campers driving up to check out some property that one of them purchased are hunted down by a machete wielding killer. But all is not as it first appears.

Released in 1981, Jeff Lieberman’s ‘Just Before Dawn’ seems like just another slasher in the vein of ‘Friday the 13th’ or ‘The Burning’. However, this movie is more of a slow burn, allowing you to get to know the characters and invest in their well being, rather than them just being fodder for the killer.

It’s also unusual in the sense that it doesn’t rely on gore for its effectiveness in getting scares. The acting is also reasonably good for a movie that doesn’t seem like it cost much to make. It’s nice to see a young Greg Henry in one of his early roles.

The transfer from 88 Films is quite impressive, and there is next to no grain for a film that’s over thirty years old. Extras include trailers and even an extended cut of the movie, which is sadly only VHS quality, but still interesting to see what was cut from the theatrical release. I would recommend this for those looking a surprisingly gore-lite movie.

  • Final Score
  • Jonathan McEvoy