Diary of the Dead

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Review byMatthew Turner5/03/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 95 mins

Disappointing zombie movie, let down by some appalling acting and a script that fails to do anything useful or interesting with its central set-up.

What's it all about?
Josh Close plays film student Jason Creed, who's making an end of term horror movie in the woods with his friends (including Michelle Morgan and Shawn Roberts) when they discover that the dead are coming back to life and are hungry for brains. As the plague of zombies spreads, the students take to the road in a Winnebago, deciding to film their horrific experiences for posterity and edit their footage as they go along.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that the none of the characters are particularly likeable, so we don't really care when their brains get chomped by ravenous zombies. Similarly, the performances are frequently appalling and the script is hamstrung by increasingly clunky dialogue, though there is at least the odd inventive death to liven things up a bit. In addition, considering that these characters are meant to be horror movie fans, they do some incredibly stupid things.

The Worst
The film also fails to do anything interesting with its central set-up, beyond a half-hearted commentary on the YouTube generation. It's also incredibly annoying that the characters are constantly editing their own movie, as these scenes are handled really badly.

Frankly, Romero missed a trick in not retitling the film Podcast of the Dead, as that would be a much more appropriate title. Sadly, the film has had its thunder stolen because its only original idea (effects-heavy horror unfolding through footage shot by the characters) has recently been used to far better effect in Cloverfield and is soon to be seen in a far superior (and genuinely terrifying) Spanish zombie movie called [REC].

Worth seeing?
Diary of the Dead is something of a disappointment, thanks to a badly thought out plot and some dreadful acting. Save your money and go and see [REC] in April instead.

Film Trailer

Diary of the Dead
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Content updated: 23/02/2019 22:01

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