Sunday, 29 January 2012

27/01/2012: Diary of the Dead [2007]

So I always thought that like most amazing horror series directors, George A. Romero had created the first couple films in his Dead series and then the rest had been made by others. While the Day of the Dead remake I reviewed earlier wasn't and clearly shows this, I was surprised to find out that for the last 40 years Romero has been responsible for all of the films in the Dead series. Always a part of the movie, whether directing or writing, Romero is why the series is simply amazing, and sets the standard in zombies and in horror. All the others out there should take note, Romero is a groundbreaking director and continues after 40 years to set the standard in the genre he reinvented in 1968.

Albeit now I must say that Diary of the Dead is one of the weaker in the series, but not without it's advantages. One of the best and most revolutionary things about Romero's series is its reinvention of the zombie movie. Romero took the camera from the horror of zombies and recentered it on mankind and are actions during an apocalypse. While yes zombies provided him the tools to bring about this apocalypse and the instrument to cause horror, his films are about how mankind reacts.

Diary of the Dead, is set at the outbreak of the zombie apocalypse, right from the first incidents and focuses on how a group of film school students deal with it. Unfortunately the whole movie within a movie thing is what I feel takes away from the grand visions of Romero previous movies it does add a new level of fear. Only being able to see where the camera is pointed, whether it be held in a fixed position or handheld only gives you part of the story. Don't mistake Diary of the Dead as your found footage movie however, that is not it's angle at all nor does it fall into that category.

The resounding metaphor or meaning or whatever the narrator tries to instill throughout the movie is about how things seen through a lens don't appear real, and how we can lose track of reality. On top of that the movie shows how well we communicated during the apocalypse, or rather the lack of. With the government and news station airing edited incomplete information while the internet fills with uploaded video's of what is really happening with little information.

Of course beyond this Diary of the Dead is a zombie horror movie, and in that element it succeeds well. the zombies are well done, the blood starts flying and the fight for your life begins.The movie documents the standard ideas of what would happen. ordinary people forced to kill their loved ones, those who can't handle the world, and those that can. The opportunists who gather supplies and hoard for themselves, the military quickly running rampant with the power they have and families destroyed or searching for each other.

Diary of the Dead also tells us the short story of one deaf Amish farmer, with a fondness for dynamite. I won't elaborate on him further and allow you to meet him for yourself.

Overall Diary of the Dead is one of the weaker movies in the series. The acting is nothing special, nor is the story really unique, and the movie within a movie is not my favourite style. However the movie is complete with the blood and gore of a zombie movie, and should no doubt please Romero's fans.

Diary of the Dead IMDB
Diary of the Dead Netflix

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