Saturday, November 8, 2008
I can barely put into words what a waste of money it was seeing this movie, especially since it was only our second movie of the year and our anniversary to boot. [we went to a late show, after trick-or-treat]
It wasn't as dramatic a disappointment as The Happening, as I went into it expecting only a solid horror flick, not a piece of pop art. Still, I found it lacking on a number of levels.
Zombies hold a special place in my heart. They aren't vampires, the pitiful Freudian refuge of the sexually repressed, or werewolves, which in the best of stories still come across as a silly Old World superstition. If you do it right, zombies can be a frightening stand-in for our paranoid fear that society is crumbling. They are a glaring affront to the reality that we hold dear, one that always, always leads to the collapse of social roles and in the end, inevitably, civilization.
Plus they eat people.
None of the deep stuff takes place here. In the movie, shot first-person Blair Witch style, a television crew is trapped inside an apartment building newly quarantined by the government. Inside a sinister new virus is loose, transforming victims into pseudo-zombies and picking off the group one by one.
It's as dumb as it sounds. The sub par acting does nothing to make us forget ridiculous affronts to commonsense. I don't view these as spoilers, but just in case close your eyes:
* a woman is drooling foam and incoherent. Another woman did this and ate someone. So what do the heroes do? They act ignorant of the prior scene and gingerly help her to 'safety'.
* Contagious, fatal disease? Why, let's force everyone out of their apartments and into a common area, just so the illness can spread faster.
* Why would you think a french door could keep out a rabid zombie?
* If you beat someone to death with a camera, would it really keep working?
And so on.
Many of the complaints online about the movie stem from the camerawork, but the herky-jerky style didn't bother me. No, but the technique's limitations irk me. No one person can be at the center of every action, particularly when it all takes place in a large building. But it's necessary to advance the plot, and so the filmmakers force the camera into places it would not realistically be, and it rings false to the viewer.
Like I said, a waste of time.
1.75 out of 4, 45 out of 100.