Diary of the Dead review
Last weekend was two firsts, changing out a windshield in my HPM (almost) and buying a new DVD sight un-scene. (Pun intended) I have never before bought a first run movie with out seeing if first. A leap of faith caused me to purchase Diary of the Dead. Not much of a leap, as I trust George Romero to provide me with good quality zombie entertainment. Don’t be fooled, follow the Romero name for zombie quality assurance.
My son, who is a fellow zombie movie aficionado, and I sat down last night to watch Diary of the Dead. We had high hopes for this movie; it has been compared to the Blair witch project, which I have never seen. Some people also compared it to Cloverfield, which is another movie I have never seen. So we had some expectations, just no basis for them except that it is a George Romero movie.
I will not attempt a plot summery except to say that the entire movie was made to look like it was a compilation of video shot from the actor’s cameras, perspective. Two hand held cameras, video phones, surveillance tape, etc were cut together to create a documentary that is narrated by a survivor. I feared that the camera angles and running would be distracting like I heard The Blair Witch Project was filmed. I was pleasantly surprised. Well, not really surprised as I have never seen The Blair Witch project. But you know what I mean.
I simply loved this film. I am tempted to go rent Blair Witch and Cloverfield, but worry that they will not be able to live up to Diary of the Dead. This is a classic Romero zombie movie with the added bonus of feeling like you’re somehow involved in the movie. Most films, especially horror films give the audience the distinct impression of being an impartial observer to the events that unfold. In this movie the audience is an active participant, I can’t explain how but there is a feeling of being culpable, of being dragged into the story. I feel that many attempts will be made to duplicate this and they will fail miserably.
There were comic elements to the movie that provided much needed relief to the blood, gore and suspense. The deaf dynamite wielding Amish man named Samuel was priceless. I wish is character lasted longer, he was a real treat.
There is also a scene that validates my opinion of clowns. How can you protect your children from a zombie clown? This movie poses the question and demonstrates the hazards but poses no solutions. Its good to leave something’s un-solved.
This movie also adds to the zombie lexicon by demonstrating other creative methods of killing zombies. Will acid to the head work? How about temple applied shock paddles? Diary of the Dead provides the answers to these pressing questions.
Something else about this movie that pleases me
The budget was around $2,000,000 and it was shot in less than a month.
That’s a lot of entertainment for the dollar. Absent were the mega-overpaid-actors; they would have contributed little, except adding zeros to the budget.
I didn’t even notice the hole.
I highly recommend Diary of the Dead; it’s not only a great zombie movie but its social commentary about the information age, mass media, and modern life.
Debra- What gets into our heads when we see something horrible? A horrible accident on the highway. Something keeps us from just driving on. Something holds us. But we don’t stop to help. We stop to look.
It’s refreshing to see a movie that is at home with criticizing itself, its audience, and the media that makes it possible.
Debra- The more voices there are, the more spin there is. The truth becomes that much harder to find. In the end it’s all just noise.
I can’t help but notice similarities to the myriad of conflicting political ads. After a while the message is lost and all that is left is spin. And noise.
Way to go George, good timing.