"Diary of the Dead"
This was a film that I was highly anticipating coming out, and let me just say, although it wasn't the best zombie horror to be released in recent years, it certainly didn't let me down.
This is George. A. Romero getting back into what he does best. Although his earlier attempt of "Land Of The Dead" was a film that I liked, he made the mistake in that one of developing a main character of one of the lead zombies and creating an impression of intelligence and leadership, and even sympathy for fellow zombies, but as all you zombie fans out there know, zombies are mindless flesh eaters that crave only their next meal.
This film however goes back to what we like and creates a story of a zombie outbreak occurring all over the world and focuses on a small band of friends trying to survive the horror and possibly find family to be with. The zombies are everywhere but like I said before, they are just lusting after human flesh and wandering around only directed by where they might find their next meal, no intelligence, no heart felt sympathy and no leadership, just mindless walking corpses.
The only down side to seeing this film on a shelf and deciding whether to buy it or not is realising that the whole film is done on hand held camera. But please please please don't be put off if your not a fan of hand held camera work, and let me tell you why.
The film revolves around a group of college film students who are out in the woods trying to film and direct their own B-horror film for a school project. Hence they have proper, almost hollywood quality cameras for their filming, so unlike films like the "Blair Witch" the camera work is really good.
You may say to yourself that its cheating, that the film is meant to be hand held footage so it shouldn't be too good, but the way you have to get around that is to think to yourself that they are film students, and if anyone is going to be good with a camera, then they will! So trust me when I say, the footage is actually really well done, and you dont need to worry about shaky camera work.
Now to the film. The story is what you might expect, the main group does not believe what is happening at first, literally until they are attacked and see the horror for themselves. Then comes the need to get home and see if family is ok, which leads us on a rollercoaster of trips across the country, creating multiple opportunities for attacks and losses within the group.
Theres not much you can say about the actual story itself apart from what the actual story is centered on. One of the students decides that filming everything they do would make for great film, much to the dislike of his friends, who dont appreciate a camera thrown in their faces in such terrible times, but he believes it is something that needs to be documented. Over the length of the film, slowly but surely, most of the rest of them come on board with his ideas and thats how we get to watch we do.
The film also has a great narrative occurring from one of the main characters, that adds a bit of emotion to the story, something which I believe gave the film that bit extra it needed.
All in all, this was a good attempt by Mr Romero and was enjoyable enough for me to go out and buy after seeing it for free first. If you like horror and inparticular zombie horror, this is something you should watch. And even if your not a regular fan, it wouldn't hurt to give it a try as the way in which it was filmed, was enough to catch the interest of my wife, who isn't a typical fan.
Running time 95 mins.
Starring: Michelle Morgan, Joshua Close, Shawn Roberts, Amy Ciupak Lalonde, Scott Wentworth.