Thursday, May 22, 2008
Movie Review: Diary of the Dead
A group of young film students run into a real-life zombie uprising while filming a horror movie of their own. They continue to roll their cameras, capturing the horror and uploading it to the Internet to let their version of the truth be told.
George Romero's fifth installment in his zombie series is part Blair Witch Project, part Cloverfield and part Night of the Living Dead. This movie doesn't pick up where any of the previous "Dead" movies left off, but it's set in the modern day and the zombie infection is just beginning, so there's really no connection to the other films other than the fact that the dead are rising, stumbling around and trying to munch on the living again. A bullet (or other piercing objects of course) to the noggin and it's bedtime for Zombo.
As usual, Romero mixes politics and social commentary with gore. The real underlying context of the movie is about modern day video blogging and news media vs "the truth". They touch on YouTube, MySpace and other Internet age buzz words. The characters film the footage themselves, but it's not all that motion sickness inducing shakey-cam like Blair Witch. There is narration and music also, so it comes across more in motion picture format than a "found footage" movie like so many of late (since The Blair Witch Project).
I didn't think there was enough action really, but it's never boring. The movie is entertaining with enough gore and freaky moments to keep it moving along. It's by no means subtle. It's cheaply made and it shows, with no frills or bit special effects, but that's the whole point really.
In the end it didn't blow me away, but it was fun and a worthy addition to the Romero collection.