Steve’s lingering physical and emotional scars from the war in Afghanistan plunge him into a soulless routine. He continues his drab existence until the corpse of a beautiful singer, Diane, is dumped in his backyard, shaking him back to reality. Steve takes a photo of her before calling the police and soon he becomes obsessed with the dead woman’s image. Steve is scrutinized by the police, becoming the prime suspect hassled by Diane’s widower, and attacked by self-righteous neighbors. Before long, the malevolent ghost of Diane begins to work a dark spell that leads Steve to strange and startling revelations.

What We Thought:

Diane has two good leads, but because of independent film restraints, it suffers in other areas. The film revolves around a wounded vet named Steve who wakes up and finds a nearly nude dead body in his backyard. It is the body of Diane, someone he doesn’t seem to know nor does he know how she got there.

The cops immediately think he’s involved because of past issues with anger and violence. He swears he didn’t do it and doesn’t know her. He becomes fixated on this woman and starts having dreams about her. There is a twist at the end I won’t ruin, but I will say I didn’t mind the twist and thought it worked. I didn’t love the exact ending, but the twist isn’t too far out there and makes enough sense.

Carlee Avers plays Diane and Jason Alan Smith plays Steve and overall I liked both of them. I don’t know if I’m familiar with either of them, but they are fine here. Avers is believable as a never quite made it performer and Smith is believable as a war veteran.

My biggest issue is the supporting cast especially the detectives. I understand this is a lower budget film and producers didn’t have a lot to hire super talented people, but the detectives really bothered me. The woman detective is such a cliched character. She acts tough and overacts with her body/face and it wasn’t good. The male detective is just as bad and any scenes with them interacting with Steve were pretty bad.

And that’s a shame because the story keeps you guessing in Diane. You aren’t quite sure if Steve is involved, how she died and if there was more to it. I’m trying not to hold the supporting cast against the film too much because I do know not everyone can afford A-listers or B-listers, but the detective characters bothered me so much. I did like the story and the leads though.

Carlee Avers as Diane, Jason Alan Smith as Steve

Diane: English / USA / 82 minutes

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