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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Diary of the Dead

Eliot (Joe Dinicol) fights off the undead as Gordo (Chris Violette) nurses his wound in a hospital in George A. Romero ’s Diary of the Dead.  Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
Eliot (Joe Dinicol) fights off the undead as Gordo (Chris Violette) nurses his wound in a hospital in George A. Romero ’s Diary of the Dead. Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company

Diary of the Dead (4 stars)

Eliot (Joe Dinicol) fights off the undead as Gordo (Chris Violette) nurses his wound in a hospital in George A. Romero ’s Diary of the Dead.  Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
Eliot (Joe Dinicol) fights off the undead as Gordo (Chris Violette) nurses his wound in a hospital in George A. Romero ’s Diary of the Dead. Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company

George A. Romero is back doing what he does best—zombies.

In his newest flick, Diary of the Dead, the director brings his iconic brand of horror into the YouTube age in a great and affecting manner.

The film is a mockumentary, think CloverfieldBlair Witch Project, but done with a lot more elegance and style.

Sure there are some weird angles and focusing issues as the audience follows a bunch of film students, but it is nowhere as sporadic and nauseating as the aforementioned films.

Jason (Joshua Close) documents events after the dead start to reanimate and run amuck throughout the world.

He climbs aboard a Winnebago filled with his classmates, his drunk professor and his girlfriend, Debra (Michelle Morgan), and travels to find Debra’s family.

On their way, they encounter many walking corpses, thieving military men and a deaf Amish.

The film has a gory hard shell with a creamy social commentary goodness inside, but this time, instead of racism with his 1968 Night of the Living Dead, Romero tackles the conundrum—where is the line between telling your side of a story and exploitation?

Diary of the Dead is a slick genre flick that restores faith in horror movies, and breathes life into the dying breed of zombie films.

Romero utilizes gore the right way. He doesn’t go for the shock factor, he uses it to set a morbid tone. Never does the gore get in the way of the story and characters though buckets of blood and torn flesh are in abundance.

Also, Romero gives his characters depth, and as the audience becomes engrossed with the quarreling among the group, they don’t notice the zombie 10 inches away from the camera.

With the characters’ depth comes an ambiguity on whether to root for them.

Half of the time, moviegoers agree with Jason as he defends his reasons for filming, and the other half, they see his documenting as a gross form of voyeurism and exploitation.

The big names in this film are hidden. If the audience listens closely to the news reports, they will hear Quentin Tarantino, Simon Pegg, Guillermo del Toro, Wes Craven and Stephen King portraying various newscasters.

The movie is chock full of good scares and a beautifully creepy atmosphere—the perfect recipe for a cult horror film.

The entire cast is unknown, a good choice for this type of film. It worked for Cloverfield, and it works here.

Diary of the Dead is nothing new. But with Romero’s morbid touch, the film is a great addition to not only Romero’s filmography but the zombie genre.

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