Diary of the Dead (2007) Reviewed

DIARY OF THE DEAD aka Document of the Dead ( 2007 )
Diary of the Dead is the fourth (and final?) installment in George Romero’s Living Dead series. Though it feels completely unrelated to the other films (Night of-, Dawn of-, Day of-, Land of-) it’s better than the last two outings. While the rest of the series charted evolving stages of a zombie epidemic, Diary reboots so that we’re starting the cycle from scratch. This time the story begins at the beginning. It’s not a remake of Night at all, but a new zombie horror dropped into a different historical context. Rather than strangers barricaded in a farm house this time we have film students, interrupted during some night shooting (a mummy movie?!) by news reports of the dead coming back to life. The first-person video documentation as a narrative platform works better here than in the same year’s Cloverfield. Despite some wobbly straight-to-vid perfs by the young cast, things go down pretty much the way one might expect if society were met with such a fate. Everyone just wants to get home to their families even though there’s very little assurance that home is where they SHOULD be. Things become slightly less interesting as things draw to a close, and even though we’ve learned to accept an open-ending from the series, this one is significantly more frustrating. A gory/emotional/creepy scene in an abandoned hospital provides the movie’s best moments. Definitely worth your time.
***

~ by Number5ive on August 19, 2008.

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