Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Film Review: Day of the Dead (2008)

Day of the Dead (Review)
United States/2008
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes
A 31 Days of Halloween Special Review!*

"...lacks confidence and seems to stray any which way."

In a small town in Colorado, a virus outbreak causes the people to turn into sprinting, leaping, and crawling zombies...

Day of the Dead mainly follows Corporal Sarah Cross (Mena Suvari) and her brother Trevor (Michael Welch). Sarah is there on duty as the town is quarantined, and Trevor just lives there. The outbreak occurs after the pair take their mother to the hospital. They end up separating, and both fight for survival at different locations. Then, they find each other and try to escape the infested town. That's about it. It begins as a barely decent film that spirals into bad territory during the final act. The ending felt very quick and underwhelming.

Day of the Dead started off promising. Now, I didn't think it was going to be spectacular or anything like that, but I thought it would at least be decent. And, it was... at least for a while. The zombies in this film are very fast and can take huge leaps -- I thought this was interesting and even made for some suspenseful scenes. The zombies also occasionally crawl on walls and ceilings, which I thought was out of place and stupid. Regardless, like I said, there is some suspense and a few thrills to be had. The film simply runs out of steam too soon and becomes more irritating as it goes on.

For example, the character clich├ęs become more evident during the second half. The characters become stupider and more annoying during the second half, as well. And, the concept starts aiming and shooting wildly; zombies who can be controlled and super zombies -- not bad ideas on their own, but bad ideas when executed so poorly. As for the characters: you have Sarah, who is very hypocritical. You have Trevor, who leans towards douchebag territory. And, worst of all, you have soldier Salazar, who's the douchebag and wannabe gangster all-in-one -- appropriately played by Nick Cannon, if I may add. If you've read my reviews, you know I dislike most of these characters, especially when they lack charisma -- and these all do.

The acting was most detrimental for the film. Mena Suvari was decent. Michael Welch was okay. Nick Cannon was horrid, with a severe lack of charisma and fall-flat humor; not so surprisingly, his character takes a larger role during the latter half of the film, which was where the film completely fell apart. The special effects were decent; a lot of computer effects, but tolerable, especially if you know what you're getting into. (I'm more a fan of practical gore effects myself, though.) I didn't like the flashy editing, though. Director Steve Miner had the opportunity to make this remake his own and, in a way, he does -- just not in a good way.

Overall, Day of the Dead is a bad horror film. Actually, it's more of an action/horror film, but a bad one, anyway. It starts off promising, but quickly loses steam. The story lacks confidence and seems to stray any which way. It also suffers from very bad acting from Nick Cannon. The minimal thrills and suspense can't redeem this film.

Score: 3/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and gore.

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