Day Of The Dead (2008)

To kick off, I am a firm believer that zombie films don’t have to follow any rules, the living dead don’t have to adhere to a strict code of no running this and no talking that. The fact of the matter is this, if you make a good movie nobody really cares if it breaks a few of the conventions.

This is not a good movie, in fact, this is one of the worst zombie movies I have ever seen. The expectations for this direct-to-dvd offering were low, even after the pleasant surprise that was Zac Snyder’s Dawn Of The Dead. Even the few decent set pieces do little other than highlight how much fun this could have been with a bit more care and attention.

The acting is fairly standard, God knows what Mena Suvari was smoking when she agreed to do this but, luckily for the rest of the cast, she leaves any of her previous promise in her trailer. The direction is fine, sometimes verging on decent, the rest of the time it is overblown and over-directed. The real kick in the nuts for me was the excessive use of cheap CGI, which instantly jarred me right out whenever I started to get absorbed. Is it someone’s job to watch movies such as this and give it a stamp of approval? If it is, that person is definitely in need of retraining.

The reason Snyder’s remake worked is because it retained core elements of the Romero original while applying a similar thematic message to the subtext that was relevant to cinema-goers now, where as this movie fails because it retains the title of the Romero classic and nothing else of note. This movie tells a very different story to that of the Romero version, in that the group of military personell scratching out a living observing the creatures in an underground silo is scrapped in favour of that same group of kids from every other movie you saw, fight for their escape during a zombie outbreak in a small town. It does, however, raise a few smirks for fans of the original with nods including a docile zombie named Bud, who is criminally underused. Everything that happens seems to only exist as a device to move events on to the next CGI set piece often causing characters to execute complete U-turns.

My final real peeve with this half-baked mess of a movie was of the zombie virus itself; how can an infection that causes the dead to walk manifest itself as a common cold? That is sloppy writing at its worst. How can said infection cause peoples skin to rot off within seconds to give them that familiar gross zombie look? That is just another poor device shoe-horned in to give this movie some sort of unique look, which really just had me tilting my head in confusion. The icing on the cake for me was the hackneyed excuse for the virus in the first place; I’m not going to tell you what it is because I’m sure you will guess within the first fifteen minutes anyway. Overall the flick is very poor, and while it raises a couple of interesting questions in the vein of Romero’s output, it instantly forgets them in favour of boring synthesized gore and standard horror movie exposition.

Rating: ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

One Comment on “Day Of The Dead”

  1. Three skulls is being far too generous to this turd!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.