Since Legion (2010), I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth around religiously tinted horror films. But He Never Died stars Henry Rollins, who I’m very much a fan. To the point where the reason I hit play was because of Rollins and I’m really glad that I did as I really enjoyed this film once I allowed myself to get into it. Though the film leaves enough unanswered or ambiguously answered questions to raise so flags. But, as a mini series is now in the works, I’ll have to wait and see before I can harp on their answers.
He Never Died follows Jake (Henry Rollins) during the course of his normal routine. Which consists solely of attending Bingo Games, eating at a local Diner and making shadowy deals with a hospital intern, Jeremy (Booboo Stewart) to buy blood. One evening, two thugs Steve (David Richmond-Peck) and Short (James Cade), who are looking for Jeremy. Jake quickly and almost effortlessly beats the pair up after they try and intimidate him. After he is called by is ex-girlfriend, who reveals that Jake has a daughter, Andrea (Jordan Todosey) and that she was in the city drunk. She asks that he make sure she doesn’t drive home drunk as she prone to do that. He more or less agrees and tells her never call him again. Jake finds her at the home of a man she met at the bar and takes her back to his place. Stopping at the diner for food, where Andrea meets the waitress Cara (Kate Greenhouse), who has a crush on Jake. The next day Jake arrives to meet with Jeremy to find him being abducted by Steve and Short. He follows them and rescues Jeremy, though more because he needs the blood rather than his concern for Jeremy. Due to this, Jake is drugged while at the dinner with Andrea after Bingo by Steve, Short and an accomplice. The three chain up Jake and throw him in the river, for rescuing Jeremy. But Jake comes to and drags the third man down with him. As Short and Steve are leaving, after realizing that their friend wasn’t coming back up, cross paths with Jake who’s somehow survived. He attacks Short, dragging him from the car and tearing out his throat. Which he then eats. When he gets back to his apartment, he scares off Andrea for her own safety. He later gets a phone call informing him the “They” have his daughter. After deciding to save her, Jake enlists the help of Cara. Who learns more about Jake than she’s comfortable with…
What really sells this movie for me Henry Rollins as Jake or as he later revealed Cain. His dry, blunt delivery is perfect for a character who is beyond ancient. The majority of the film’s dark humor comes from Rollins and his spot on delivery. Not that anyone in this film is slouching as the whole cast does a great job.
What I really ended up liking is the writing. It’s well paced and the balance never gets out of sorts. Which was in my opinion, was what was wrong with Legion. The dry humor and the brutal, but downplayed violence work wonderfully together.
Final thoughts, He Never Died is a film that is really worth seeing. While I’ll never say that this film ever frightened me or left any form of afterglow. It did entertain and has played on my mind since its viewing and most definitely a film I plan to watch again. 9/10