After 22 minutes of auditioning and logistics, Toma and team get down to
business with their chosen “star,” Matt, a young British man who would
prefer to kill himself before the fatal brain tumor he has reaches the
unavoidable stage of unbearable pain.
We watch as Toma films Matt talking to the camera about his brief life.
We also watch as he watches the Final Exit video for
pointers, tours the city’s points of great heights, goes to a tarot card
reader for the heck of it, shops for coffins, partakes in possibly his
last poker night, and visits his kindly mother … who still doesn’t
know of his hopeless prognosis.
Sound morbid? Then you’ll be glad to know it’s all a joke — well, not a
joke joke, but a fake documentary by The Last Exorcism
director Daniel Stamm, making its DVD debut four years after the fact.
With no recognizable faces and valiant efforts to establish the legality
of Toma’s role as witness, A Necessary Death makes a
more-than-fair approximation of being authentic. I can see it fooling
some people until, perhaps, the “twist” ending.
Too bad it’s such a downer — and not just because of its themes of
depression and finality, but because Toma (G.J. Echternkamp,
Hard Candy), Matt (Matt Tilley) and the others just
don’t do much beyond the aforementioned agenda. The moral issues are
most intriguing, but they are swept aside quicker than one would expect,
and I lost genuine interest halfway through, when it ceases being
unconventional. Oh, the gang also plays charades, but how interesting is
Not much. And you know what they say: It’s all fun and games until
somebody gets hurt. Well-intentioned but not well enough to merit a
viewing, A Necessary Death is an effort one can admire without necessarily having to watch it. —Rod Lott