Sunday, May 16, 2010

Movie Review Time: "Diary of the Dead"

So I just finished watching George Romero's "Diary of the Dead" and I have to say, it was pretty good.

As you may have gathered from previous blog posts, I am pretty into zombies and zombie movies. In general, I love the horror genre, and I find that zombie movies are one of only a few categories of horror that are not consistanly predictable. For example, in most slasher films, you can predict who is going to die within the first five minutes. They are a joke.

Zombie movies, much like a majority of psychological thrillers, are hardly ever predictable. Yes, the dead do walk and eat the living and each other. But depending on the angle the director takes, there are many different ways they come across and many different outcomes.


"Diary of the Dead" put a spin on the typical zombie movie. The basic premise of the movie is that it's a group of college kids majoring in drama at the University of Pittsburgh. The night the zombies come, they are in the woods filming a movie that one of the main characters, Jason, has written. They hear on the radio about the chaos that is going on in town, about the dead coming to life. From there, it becomes a road trip to try to get to each ones homes before it is too late.

The film style is that of a documentary, as if the whole thing was filmed by Jason as it all unfolded. We have a voice over, which is Jason's girlfriend, Deb, who edited the film before putting it online. Because of the film style, with the arguments between the friends and shaky camera from time to time, it is very believable and easy to get sucked in. I personally was on the edge of my chair while watching it.

But George Romero did more than make a life-like zombie film. He created a commentary on society. Through out the film, we the viewer are exposed to the animal like nature of the human psyche. There is mass panic and random killings as people flee cities, and there is looting throughout. We also see those who kill the zombies for fun, including some hicks who have tied up zombies and used them for target practice. At the end of the film, Deb asks the question "Are we really worth saving?", as if she is asking the audience to pass judgement.

The film ends with us never knowing the outcome of the survivors, and the question lingers as the credits roll.

All in all, I give "Diary of the Dead" five out of five stars. It has suspense and lots of zombies, and also makes us analyze our position in life.

Are we really worth saving?


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