Friday, March 10, 2017

Day 130: Diary of the Dead

This movie is and the fifth installment in George Romero's zombie outbreak series (see Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead) and the first to crossover with the found footage genre of horror.

After a prologue with some newsmen becoming zombie chow, we follow a group of film students as they try to make their own horror movie. Unfortunately, the zombie apocalypse breaks out and the group move from goal to goal hoping to find a safe place or rescue some loved ones. Much like 28 Days Later, this movie goes out of its way to portray the National Guard as corrupt during a time of civil crisis. Romero has always used the zombie genre to speak to weaknesses he sees in society (racism, consumerism, militarism, elitism) and this one takes a poke at what news sources would be trustworthy in a zombie outbreak (blogs) as well as how detached we get looking at the world through camera lenses instead of experiencing life in person. It is a decent message and the movie has some solid horror.

I liked this one best of the second Dead trilogy (part three is Survival of the Dead) but it still pales next to classics like Dawn of the Dead. The found footage aspect lends it some immediacy but also strains credulity as people keep filming long after they should have stopped.

For zombie fans or Romero fans who somehow missed it, check it out.

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