The cities are plagued by an unknown horror. The dead have begun to rise from their graves and infect the living, hunting down fresh meat to feed their insatiable hunger. Amidst the chaos, one family try to keep their loved ones safe while dealing with their own horrors and secrets. They take refuge from the undead army in their isolated farm house, but when death begins to infect their home from the inside out, will they survive the night?
With the popularity of such shows as The Walking Dead and the recent influx of zombie related films, television, books and comics; you would be forgiven for thinking that Night Of The Living Dead: Resurrection was jumping on the zombie band wagon. However, this British independent film, shot and incarnated in Wales, UK is much more than ‘just another’ foray into the world of the undead. While the story begins with a typical set up for a suspenseful horror, following the supposed hero as he witnesses human and zombie violence and struggles to reach his loved one (amusingly named Barbara in homage to “They’re coming to get you Barbara!”, an iconic line from the 1968 original Night Of The Living Dead film), it quickly changes into something much more dramatic and personal than one would expect.
The story centers around a family who have managed to wait out the initial zombie attacks in their isolated Welsh farm house, the father, Gerald, picking off intruders systematically with his shotgun if they show signs of being one of the ‘crazies’. Focusing on the age old themes of humans being more dangerous than monsters in a crumbled society, they soon have to fend off attacks from a gang of youths as well as the undead who slowly infiltrate their home.
James Plumb and Andrew Jones’ script not only shows great respect for the genre of horror as well as homages to previous greats such as Romero, but it also shows a great understanding of family drama and more personal, human horror. It is notable that one of the greatest moments of horror does not in fact include a zombie attack, rather it is an extremely violent attack from a gang of teenagers mixed with a horrible and tragic realization of loss for Kevin (Lee Bane). Such a scene is both daring and effective on a level greater than the simple gore or shock tactics employed by so many horror film-makers as it effects you on a personal level.
While the film may be littered with certain pitfalls that low-budget, independent films always encounter; including poor night-lighting, sound quality and occasional bouts of wooden acting; Mad Science Films have managed to create a well honed piece of cinema none-the-less. Many of the scenes shot at night in an exterior location are of low quality, while the indoor scenes are grainy, but this adds to the realistic, gritty feel to the film. Aware of these issues, the film makers have utilized car headlights to great effect as well as ambient light. The sound is edited well, with a brilliant, atmospheric soundtrack. The SFX in its climactic scene are blood curdling and bone crunching, as one would expect. All in all, while the quality of the film may be lower than most blockbusters one would see in the cinema, considering the budget and production values of the film, it shows tremendous promise and it will be very exciting to see what Mad Science are capable of when given a larger budget.
While certain smaller roles suffer from wooden acting, the lead characters buff up the story wonderfully with scenes of pathos, realistic emotion and terror. The father, Gerald, played by Terry Victor, is wonderful as the patriarch of the family in constant competition with Kevin for power. His pathos is brilliantly played in his ultimate scene and we feel deeply for his character, showing a great understanding for his role. Kathy Saxondale, as the mother, is highly passionate and strong in her role, playing on her overly emotional scenes well so that, instead of the typical hysterical woman, we encounter a far more logical, yet broken matriarch who despite everything is trying to protect her family.
The roles of Kevin (Lee Bane), Jen (Rose Granger) and Mandy (Mel Stevens) play off well against each other and Jen’s likability and sweet character makes the tragic reality between Mandy and Kevin all the more horrible. In one of the most touching, yet disturbing scenes in the film, Bane shows a brilliant range of emotion and understanding for the situation making it all the more dramatic for an audience. Even Mandy, who we soon learn to hate due to her selfishness and home-wrecking, manages to command enough pathos in her final scenes with her mother that we ultimately pity her fate. Despite all of the family’s inadequacies, they are still human, and this is something that the actors manage to juggle well alongside their obvious flaws, enough that despite everything we pity their demise as we see something of ourselves in all of them.
Richard Goss as Red, manages to command a presence much more intimidating than his ‘teenage hoodie’ role may insinuate, creating a threatening antagonist for the family and switching focus to the decaying society which the zombies are slowly destroying. Focusing on the typical themes of moral decay, consumerism and racism which Romero made so famous in his earlier Night Of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead as well as the fear of humanity in 28 Days Later, Night of The Living Dead: Resurrection has all of the bases covered for a well written zombie film, with the added extra of a family horror, making it far more personal and insular.
Overall, this is a promising film from an even more promising company. Their passion and understanding for the horror genre is evident, while the fact that they are a homegrown, independent company who are progressing so well is an added bonus. With their new slasher film Silent Night Bloody Night: The Homecoming, a re-imagining of the 1970s film,already set for distribution, this company is one to look out for.
See what goodies you can win with our Exclusive Chaos Legion competition this week.
Dec 8th, 2013 0This week we are giving 3 of our special readers the chance to win some exclusive merchandise from Chaos Hour. This is just one of the many competitions going forward which will be exclusive to the Chaos Legion membership. Week in week out we will be hosting some incredible competitions…
Rest In Peace Paul Walker (1973 - 2013)
Dec 2nd, 2013 0