Saturday, October 22, 2011
THE DEAD (2010)
Directed by Howard J. and Jonathan Ford
Rob Freeman - Lt. Brian Murphy
Prince David Oseia - Sgt. Daniel Dembele
David Dontoh - The Chief
When the last evacuation flight out of war-torn Africa crashes off the coast, American Air Force Engineer Lieutenant Brian Murphy emerges as the sole survivor in a land where the dead are returning to life and attacking the living.
I was watching AMC at the start of the week, as they're showing horror movies till the end of the month, and AMC starts out by showing Romero's Survival Of The Dead. As I was watching it I just couldn't let go of the feeling that Romero has completely lost his touch. The movie had no suspense or terror to it, or any part that makes you want to jump. Not to mention his sly commentary on society. So needless to say after watching it, yes, I watched the whole movie, I felt somewhat cheated. It was if Romero just stopped trying on this one. Though I will admit I watched it to get ready to watch The Dead.
Now this is a zombie movie in vein of classic Romero. The zombies shuffle, and look lost when not close to their one food source. The one time they truly move quickly is when they are mere inches from live humans, and damn it if I didn't jump at least twice in this movie because I wasn't expecting a zombie attack. Yet it's due to not expecting an attack which makes you lower your guard, and you let yourself relax is when the zombies attack. In recent years zombies have became fast and can hang from ceiling piping, yet it's the slow moving ones that don't scream or yell, the type that sneaks up on you, that I will always like the best due to it brings to mind the classic boogey man almost.
Now the acting does have to be talked about. It seems like most of the time I start the acting part of the reviews like that, I guess I have to find some other way to start from now on. Anyway, I have to mention that another difference in this movie than with other zombie movies is that during half the run time there isn't any talking what so ever. Most of the acting is shown by facial expressions and the fatigue shown in the actor's eyes, as well as the body language of both the principle actors. Rob Freeman, who we spend most of the time with, plays Lt. Brian Murphy who is more of a classic hero. He doesn't say much and lets his actions speak for him. And this is shown very well when Murphy is faced with a fellow soldier that left him after Murphy gets a vehicle. So much is said about his character during this brief scene. As well as toward the end of the movie when he is asked to kill a mother after she hands him her baby for safe keeping. He doesn't want kill her, and even pleads to her not to go through with it. Prince David Oseia is does well as Sgt. Daniel Dembele, a African soldier who deserts his post to find his son. The sad part about this character is that he is his own worst enemy. Even though he tries to be stoic, his emotions get in his way and cause him to take to many chances that puts him and Murphy in more danger than they already are. Oseia, even though he's only been acting professionally for over a year does an amazing job.
The look of the movie is just a thing of beauty. Part of this I think is due to the use of 35mm film instead of digital cameras, which adds a certain amount of grain to the film that gives it a almost dirty look in places. But yet in other places the film is just amazing, specially when it shows the main protagonist in silhouette. The pacing in the film is steady for the most part, though it does slow down and almost drags in parts, though it does pick back up after a short time. For a film genre that is filled with sub-par zombie movies that are more laughable and harder to watch than the latest attempts at mass released horror in theaters, this is a treat of a movie that harkens back to the 80's ideal of film making that is a joy to watch. And as a plus there is no CG blood and all the effects are practical. Complete old school which is something that is needed badly at the moment.
Murphy's revenge on a soldier that left him for dead.
Perhaps nature has put in motion the ultimate solution to it's problem.
The directors used actual amputees in the movie to add believability to scenes.