A zombie movie fest? It was bound to happen. I've had several zombie movies in my queue, waiting to be seen. However, I just wasn't in the right state of mind to watch them and I didn't have the time. But, with the 3 day weekend upon me.... I figured there was no time like the present! So I fired up Netflix and away we go!
Everybody and their cousin is making a zombie movie these days. Pound for pound, it's every student film makers ideal first choice for a movie. Special effects are cheap, setting can be anywhere and zombies are hot right now! Because of this, the market is flooded with zombie movies. They're like zombies themselves.... taking over! It also means there's a glut of bad ones, along with the good ones. That makes the zombie lover a bit more picky about what he/she watches. With all that being said, 'Dead Season' scared me a little bit. It looked like it had a budget, but I didn't know if it had the heart or a decent story.
I'm glad I took the risk.
This movie might not have re-written the zombie playbook, but it added a decent chapter. The story was a bit common, but the actors were committed and made you care about them. Some of the action was a bit 'clunky', but it was few and far between. One of the nicer things about 'Dead Season' were the little surprises here and there. The couple of twists that you weren't expecting.... the outcomes that were shocking and unique. It made me believe that good zombie movies are still out there and still being made. The ending could've used a tweak, but that's not unusual for most movies these days. I can forgive that.
The plot: When a worldwide viral outbreak leads to a plague of zombies scouring the earth for the living, two survivors flee the chaos of America to a remote island, hoping for a chance to start a new life. What they find is unrelenting horror. Beyond the hordes of the flesh-hungry undead, the other people already on the island force the pair into a fight-or-die battle amongst themselves. Armed only with crude weapons, they must descend to savagery and cutthroat tactics just to make it through each day. Meaning? The bad guys aren't just the zombie.... or at least they're not what they seem to be at first.
As I said at the beginning of this review, I was really concerned about this movie. You shouldn't be now. If you go into this expecting the best zombie movie ever made, you will be let down. But if you go into this expecting to check your brain at the door for an hour and a half, you'll walk away happy. The effects are decent, the story line is entertaining and there are a couple of little touches that add a new dimension to the old tale. The writer and director also take the time to let us get to know the main characters. An all too important factor in horror movies that is missed. If you don't like the people that are the main characters in the movie, then why in the heck would you care if they die or not? One of the trademarks of a worthwhile horror movie, is caring about who dies. Otherwise, it's just masturbation.
This is a nice way to spend an afternoon. I don't know if I would ever add it to my collection and if I ever need to see it again. I'm not quite sure if it's that kind of movie. It does prove it's worth in the genre. I left the whole experience feeling satisfied and happy. The characters made a couple of dopey decisions, but that's the reality of life and being in a situation you can't control. People do dumb stuff all the time, right? Give this one a day in court and you won't be let down.... trust me on this one.
3 out of 5 stars
If you like this, check out: any of the Romero movies