Saturday, February 9, 2013

Zombies!


  I've been playing a lot of Resident Evil 3 lately. Which is still quite the classic, and it's made me to want to watch some more zombie flicks. Having seen all but the most recent Resident Evil movie, it was safe to say I should expose myself to a better breed of zombie flick.  I'd already seen the original Night of the Living Dead when I was in grade school at a friend's sleepover. It truly scared me shitless. It put me off everything 'zombie' related for a while. Fortunately, that was grade school; an eternity ago. Now bring on the scares and gore, and Dawn of the Dead did just that.

  I was hoping for something intense and bloody. I was in for a treat. Dawn jumps right into it. It's hectic and bloody opening sets the tone for the rest of the movie. Only letting up around the midway mark, Dawn of the Dead is a horror roller coaster that has stood the test of time and become something of a titan in the genre.  The gore effects are awesome. You won't be disappointed. Some of it made me cringe actually. In the good way. I think my only complaint is how standard the zombies themselves look. Though I might be spoiled by modern zombie effects, these zombies look like people. Grey skinned people. No blood and disfigured faces of any kind. But alas, they still remain effective enough to be scary at times and elevate the tension to an immense level.

  It was quite a fun movie to watch, and I was in for a whole world of awesome by the climax. Which was a massive battle royale between zombies, a small army of bikers and our band of intrepid heroes. It's pretty glorious to watch the chaos and carnage unfold.  Also what kinda took me off guard was the sense of humor. Wasn't expecting it to have one at all; but it does, and it fits well into the movie.  Much in the way Zombieland was. Though this adheres to Romero's rule that "Dead things don't run." it was still quite tense and effective in how they found clever ways to crank up the suspense to nail biting levels.  The movie isn't perfect, there's some mild bits of pacing issues and general stupidity, but overall it was a damn good flick that's worth watching beyond a shadow of a doubt.
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  This remake helmed by geek favorite Zack Snyder proves to be an effective remake even if it is inferior to the original.  It provides what the original didn't. More vicious looking and bloodier zombies, tighter editing, and a relatable modern setting. Unfortunately, it doesn't go much further beyond that. It introduces some truly unique and interesting concepts, like the unborn zombie baby, the fact animals wouldn't be craved by zombies (which I didn't really like) and little things like that. Some great. Some not.
Dawn of the Dead's pace is so breakneck and sudden that our protagonists exist merely as placeholders. We're expected to care about these people on principal. However the movie also makes clear cut human antagonists. So these people are good cause they're nice, and that guy we want dead cause he's an asshole.
That formula... doesn't gel for me. It's so cliche.

  Furthermore, there's some conflict of character logic, and a smidge of shoddy acting, but overall this remake is very well made and fun to watch. It's a decent zombie action/horror movie that stands head and shoulders above others of it's kind. Ving Rhames easily is the most undeniably watchable person here. He's simply so badass and cool that you can't help but like him. He gets the best lines and the best moments, and he's a pleasure to watch and makes the movie for me personally. It's not really fun spending time with these characters. Unlike the original Dawn, where it was indeed a blast. I'm not trying to knock the movie that badly. I don't want it to sound like that.  However it is inferior to the original. Not VASTLY inferior, not slightly inferior. It's the difference between great and good. It's good. Whereas the original was great.
If you keep your expectations in check you can have lots of fun with this movie.  I know I did. I just wasn't blown away.

  It's very competently directed, they obviously had a good appreciation for the original, to the point of even snagging some chuckle worthy cameos from some of the original cast members. Overall I did enjoy it. I do suppose though that's all there is to this unfortunately one-note experience.
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  This french language horror thriller is quite over the top in a deliciously bloody way. The acting is solid for the most part, and the zombies are cool and vicious and the setting is decent. Overall, it's a very serviceable flick. And for what it's worth, I liked it better than Dawn of the Dead remake. It's certainly more unique.
Not the most original flick ever, but certainly a badass popcorn flick. The Horde is very well made, and very well acting. This is it's strength actually. It's not wholly 100% original. However the things it borrows from other zombie movies, it actually does just as well if not better. Trapped in a high rise building... zombies swarming the whole place... etc etc. It works here. Very well.

  Also, the killing here is awesome. Some truly badass scenes. Very memorable stuff, especially from Eriq Ebouaney. He single-handedly made this movie to me. His on-screen presence was astounding. He exudes control and leadership in his amazing performance here. I almost didn't care about the "good guys" because either they were all straight-up douchebags, or just bland as fuck. A few of them get neat scenes in the last act but nothing that fully justified their blandness. Unfortunate. But alas, the secondary characters are very fun to watch even if they tend to overact alot.  In general, The Horde is a mixed bag. Not drastically so though. Some characters are shit. Some are awesome. Some parts are bland, and others awesome.

  Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, even if it is by a slim margin. Thus I do heartily recommend this movie, because I feel it was definitely worth my time.

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