I was pleasantly surprised on Tuesday of last week when I discovered that the new Romero Dead film was being released this week.
I was, however, less than pleasantly surprised when I actually went to the cinema to see it on Friday. I’m not sure I like the emerging ‘found film’ genre that we’ve been seeing recently. I absolutely despised ‘The Zombie Diaries’ – a low budget British attempt at the zombie genre that was presented in the form of ‘found footage’. Cloverfield is probably the best recent attempt although it still suffered from annoying characters and awful acting…
I think that is the real trouble with these films. When watching a regular film, we expect the acting to be just that – acting. The action is stylized and we accept this because it is a film… it’s not real. This does not work when a film is masquerading as a documentary or a home video (with the obvious exception of Rob Reiner’s Spinal Tap, Best in Show… etc). The audience has to be completely convinced that the actors are real people dealing with real (although completely impossible) events.
Anywho… Diary of The Dead has all of these faults and more and this is coming from someone who loves all four of the other movies… hell, I even love the Tom Savini remake of Night of The Living Dead. The acting is atrocious, the characters are arseholes and the story is almost non existent.
I think the real problem is the lack of claustrophobia. The thing that made the original trilogy, and to a lesser extent Land of the Dead, great was the interaction between the characters while they were holed up either in a house, a shopping mall, an underground bunker or a fortified city. Zombies are just a sideline in these films – a threat that brings a group of mismatched people together and forces them to cooperate (or not) to survive.
I did, however, enjoy the ‘zombies don’t run’ jokes. You’re right George, they really don’t.