Diego Freitas’ ‘My Dead Ones’/’O Segredo de Davi’ (2018) – Movie Review

My Dead Ones (AKA O Segrado de Davi) is the feature length directorial debut of Diego Freitas (Flush 2020) from a script co-written by Freitas and Gustavo Rosseb (O ir evir das coisas 2018). The film stars Nicolas Prattes (Crashing Into The Future 2018), João Côrtes (Rising Sun 2016), Neusa Maria Faro (Torre de Babel 1998), André Hendges (Rio Heroes 2018), Eucir de Souza (The Way He Looks 2014), and Bianca Müller (Wounded Past 2016). The music for the film was composed by Paulo Beto (ABCs of Death 2 2014) while the special FX were created by Martão (Baptism of Blood 2006).


Everybody has secrets and David is no exception however David’s big secret is not that he likes filming, killing or sharing his murders. His secret is way more sinister.

What Works In My Dead Ones

I am pleasantly surprised by how much I love My Dead Ones. I always hold back a little bit when I see something labeled as arthouse, because I’m afraid I’m not going to “get it,” and I’ll have to Google other people’s reviews to try and piece together what it was that I just watched. But for My Dead Ones, the art is in the color, the photography, the transitions, the light (or lack thereof), the closeups of David’s face as thoughts pass through his mind… The story is there, although the reality of David’s (Prattes) situation is never really known. Since the movie is seen through his eyes, it’s his brain that registers what he’s seeing. There could be anything there.

There are two twists, and I didn’t see either one coming. Freitas is a clever filmmaker. He’s like a magician who uses sleight of hand to distract the viewer while something else is actually going on right in front of them. There’s a scene where David is in a college classroom, and the camera follows him as he walks down a short hallway straight into the lights and sounds of a neon goth party, a transition that shows the fragility of David’s mind and the time lapses he endures.

I love the character of David. I feel for him. He’s a shy young man, hiding in the shadows, and he likes to watch people. Who he chooses to watch, he films, and the reason he picks these subjects means something only to him. His past is a mystery even to him, and at first, it almost feels like he records things just to keep his current memories pure. He reminds me of a male version of Angela Bettis’ character from 2002’s May. He just wants to be loved. Is that really so much to ask? When the young man decides to take things to the next level by interacting with several of the people he had been filming, it kicks off a chain of events that eventually turns this shy college student into an absolute nightmare.

Looking like a cross between Freddie Prinze, Jr. and a young Jake Jake Gyllenhaal, Nicolas Prattes does a wonderful job as David, making the character both reserved and confident as he points his camera at the things that he will make his. I’m anxious to see him in other projects.

What Doesn’t Work In My Dead Ones

I have only one complaint about this film, and it has nothing to do with the acting, direction, lighting, dialogue, or run time. The spoken language is Portuguese, which is fine. But the included English subtitles were way off. Characters are 2-3 lines ahead of what is being shown on screen, so emotions and reactions don’t match up with what the viewer is reading.

ETA: We’ve been notified by the filmmakers that this is a screener issue and not an actual movie issue.

Final Thoughts

My Dead Ones is a surreal, out-of-body trip through one man’s psychosis and his yearning for acceptance and love. The filmmaking style is perfect for the image that the movie is trying to convey. This is arthouse at its best, leaving you with a clear story seen through a fractures brain. If you can find a version with correctly times subtitles (or you speak Portuguese), do yourself a favor and check this one out.

About Tracy Allen

As the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of PopHorror.com, Tracy has learned a lot about independent horror films and the people who love them. Now an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, she hopes the masses will follow her reviews back to PopHorror and learn more about the creativity and uniqueness of indie horror movies.

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