Tag Archives: The Dead

A short review of “The Dead 2: India” (2013)

At times, “The Dead 2: India” (2013), seems like a carbon copy of its predecessor three years earlier.  Both “The Dead” and “The Dead 2” portray American male protagonists on a lengthy overland trek to reach a wife or girlfriend.  Both were shot on location in an overseas setting.  (The original took place in Africa.)  And both portray a second protagonist who is a native of the country.  (In this case it’s a little boy portrayed by Anand Krishna Goyal.  Even a curmudgeon like me has got to admit — that kid is adorable.)

I liked the first movie a bit better.  This one feels a little hastily put together, in terms of its script and directing.

It does manage to succeed somewhat with the things that made the first film decent viewing.  Its desert locations are beautifully shot, and the filmmakers bring back some of the original’s slow-burn horror elements.  The zombies here are usually as slow as snails — slower even than the zombies of George A. Romero’s genre-defining early films.  But they’re also quiet, and they converge en masse when our hero lets his guard down.  And the occasional appearance of a rare feisty specimen leads to some genuine jump scares.  The movie also effectively employs what appears to be a low-budget special effect — the monsters’ eyes are of an opal-white, otherworldly color.  (I’m guessing those are colored contact lenses?)  The trick works, the zombies are scary, and “The Dead 2” successfully provides a kind of “creeping horror” that is rare for today’s horror films.

That wasn’t enough, however, to rescue this movie entirely from feeling like a retread of the original.  I’d describe this as an average viewing experience for a horror fan, and I’d rate it a 6 out of 10.

 

 

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A very short review of “The Dead” (2010)

Take a look at the movie poster below for the Ford Brothers’ “The Dead” (2010).  It’s problematic for two reasons.

One, of course, is that it contains what is arguably the most unimaginative title in zombie movie history.

Two is its immediate recollection of the marketing art for Zack Snyder’s terrific 2004 “Dawn of the Dead” remake.  It is so similar in composition and color scheme that it makes the Ford Brothers’ film look like a “mockbuster,” whose cover is designed to fool hasty movie renters.

And that’s a shame, because “The Dead” is a fairly decent zombie movie in its own right — I’d rate it a 7 out of 10.  It’s a lower-budget feature, and some of the acting is a bit flat, but this is a movie that does a lot with a little.  The film wisely makes the most of its African setting, and has an intelligent, if slowly paced, story.  It focuses on its two military protagonists’ needs for food, sleep, shelter, fuel and vigilance, during the course of a lengthy overland trek.  That’s refreshing in an era of “Strippers vs. Zombies” (2012), and various fairly lackluster clones of “Shaun of the Dead” (2004).

Best of all, however, is the film’s skilled manner of evoking “slow burn” or “creeping” horror.  The zombies in “The Dead” usually move quite slowly.  They might be the slowest zombies I’ve ever seen.  This might be the anti-“28 Days Later” (2002).  But that makes the vibe here unique among the spate of modern zombie films — and maybe a little reminiscent of George A Romero’s pioneering early films.  If your reaction is like mine, you’ll find it a little unnerving to see them gather en masse at a snail’s pace.

I recommend this.

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