Dir: Andreas Prochaska.Austria. 2006. 97mins.

Teen audiences and midnight crowds looking for ahealthy dose of blood and guts will welcome DeadIn Three Days, Andreas Prochaska'sby-the-book slasher, which successfully follows therules and conventions of the genre.

Set in smalltownrural Austria, it features the same group of friends, incompetent cops, redherrings and cocktail of gore and guilt found in similar fare worldwide, if lackingthe self-imposed irony favoured by Hollywood standardbearerslike the Scream franchise.

Such an absence may limitsome of Dead InThree Days' reach, although it should safely navigate its way around specialisedcult screenings, especially in continental Europe, with yet another variationon a theme that the market seems never to tire of. Non-German-language speakersmay warm better to an Anglophone remake, although the rural setting is overly reminiscentof the Friday The 13th.

It is graduation day forNina (Reiter), and her four close friends, Mona (Stockl),Clemens (Steinocher), Martin (Rupp) and Alex (Vogel).Together since the elementary school, they have passed their final high schoolexams and head off to celebrate.

That night they all receive identicaltext messages, telling them that in three days they will all be dead. First,they believe it's a sick practical joke, but approach the disbelieving policewhen one of their number vanishes. By the time thepolice begin following up the case another of the five has vanished, proddingthe three survivors to dig back into their past for a common link.

Commonsense would suggestthey go into hiding until the three days have passed, but genre rules require theybegin their own investigation - only to discover that they are unprepared tomeet the ruthless killer awaiting them.

The lakeside location andthe Austrian brogue, which might require subtitles even for German audiences, lends it all an authentic feeling. The ending, while notmaking much sense, leaves things open for a sequel.

Sabrian Reiter, Julia Rosa Stockland the rest of the cast capture the carefree cockiness and defiance ofvictims-to-be before the bloodletting turns them frenetic and panicky.

Solid if unspectacularcamerawork and alert cutting prevent the pace slackening. The soundtrackprovides the right mix of effects and mysterious chords to keep the willingaudience on edge.

Production company
Allegro Films

International sales
Celluloid Dreams

Helmut Grasser

Thomas Baum
Andreas Prochaska
Uli Bree

David Slama

Karin Hartusch

Production design
Claus Rudolf Amler

Matthias Weber

Main cast
Sabrian Reiter
Julia Rosa Stockl
Michael Steinocher
Laurence Rupp
Nadja Vogel
Julian Sharp
Andreas Kindl
Karl Fischer
Michou Friesz
Amelie Jaromil
Susi Stach