"Now that I'm grown up, you can tell me the truth. Do the monsters really exist? They did."
Choose a horror these days and chances are that it's once again a zombie movie. This isn't exactly a sub-genre that I'm excited about, but it's certainly better than the found footage genre. Personally I think this genre is a little ... uh ... dead. We have seen it all before and most movies are a variant of a variant of the Romero concept. Occasionally there's an attempt to try something new or interpret the theme differently. For example "World War Z". OK I admit. That one was also about a fast spreading mysterious disease that transformed most civilians in bloodthirsty zombies. But the physical characteristics of the undead was a bit different. "Dead within" concentrated on the psyche of the survivors. And in "Maggie" the element of drama was a bit more intensified. Similarly in "Extinction". Only the bloodthirsty undead are portrayed more explicitly than in "Maggie" and also we get to see the pimped version.
Mixing two genres, horror and drama in this case, could have an adverse effect. Namely that most of the movie fans will be disappointed. The zombie lovers will hate the drama part and complain that it's not gory enough. And the fans of drama have to tolerate these disgusting, carnivorous monsters. But for me as a die-hard film-freak it's just double enjoyment. I appreciate both genres and it's even more fun when both are mixed together. First there is a complicated relationship between the two men Patrick (Matthew Fox) and Jack (Jeffrey Donovan), who have survived the chaos. Initially, the circumstances how it came to this situation is unclear. However, this will be explained more in detail with the help of some flashbacks. Eventually, they ended up in a village called Harmony where they live next to each other as two estranged neighbours. They both lead a separate life with their own habits.
And then there's the lovely teenager Lu (Quinn McColgan) who was rescued as a baby by the two rivals. 9 Years later she's a rebellious teen girl who would like to explore the world around her. Something that's painstakingly prohibited by Jack. Although they are convinced that the mutated citizens are long extinct by the cold (because of the Siberian climate) or famine. What they don't know is that these creatures evolved into cold-resistant, blind, bald heads and still looking for fresh meat.
It all sounds familiar and it feels like a "where-have-we-seen-that-before" film. The zombies look a lot like those in "I am Legend" and are quite frightening. There are a few face to face confrontation (as in "World War Z") and you can be sure that they will give you chills. On the other hand there's the tragic tale regarding the three main characters. The entire film is a melting pot of themes. A devastating epidemic which leads to a family drama. After that a post-apocalyptic era dawns with the obvious siege and battle against the otherworldly creatures. Perhaps the theme of self-sacrifice was a bit exaggerated. But besides that, this was still an enjoyable movie. Hopefully, the zombies are now stored away for some time.
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