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With horror flick 'Tell Me How I Die,' it will likely be from boredom

With horror flick 'Tell Me How I Die,' it will likely be from boredom
Nathan Kress and Virginia Gardner in the movie "Tell Me How I Die." (Base Station / Big Block Films)

Loosely combining "Final Destination" and a drawing-room mystery, the thriller "Tell Me How I Die" is a movie that plays better in the imagination than it does on the screen. Dull and drab, the film squanders an attractive young cast and a killer title.

Set almost entirely at a snowbound scientific institute, "Tell Me How I Die" follows cash-strapped college kids participating in an experimental memory-drug trial. Soon, students start experiencing the medication's unsettling side effect: powerful precognitive visions of their own bloody deaths, at the hands of a mysterious maniac.

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The guinea pigs are played by a generic assortment of Hollywood hunks and ingenues, most of whom exhibit the bland professionalism of actors who've been in the business since childhood. The notable exception is YouTube superstar Ryan Higa, who's supposed to be the movie's comic relief but can't sell the lame jokes.

Director D.J. Viola gives the film a slick look, which is part of the problem. "Tell Me How I Die" has a dogged pace and an edgeless sheen, lacking any moments or images that would jar the viewer.

Even the death scenes are unmemorable, which is a fatal flaw in a film called "Tell Me How I Die." The premise isn't bad, but it's never good when a Google search of a horror movie's name is more upsetting than the picture itself.

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'Tell Me How I Die'

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

Playing: Ahrya Fine Arts, Beverly Hills

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