Day of the Dead (2008) Review
Written by: the5thdroog
Right away it would be easy for me to just quickly dismiss Day of the Dead just for being another remake of the Romero classics, but I didn’t want to do that. I really like all the “Dead” movies, but if any of them were to be remade, this would be the one I’d choose. Not that it needed to be done…just sort of the gun to the head which would you choose scenario. Then I see Steve Miner is directing and that makes me feel a bit better. I’ve had an advance copy for a couple of months now, but finally found it show up on top of my “to see” movies. I will say this, it wasn’t so much a remake and this time that seems to work against it.
The movie starts out with a couple of young couples hidden away in an old bunker trying to get to know each other a little better. The driver of the group Trevor (Michael Welch) is urged by his girlfriend Nina (AnnaLynne McCord) that it might be better for the two of them to go back to his place. He rushes the other couple up and tells them it is time to go. His friend angrily gets up, but not before realizing that his nose has started to bleed and has been dripping on his girlfriend. They get into it because she is disgusted by this and she decides to walk home. After the other three leave, we see her making her way through the woods and then she is chased and captured by something in the woods.
Now we are shown that the military has been called in to quarantine this small Colorado town. Sarah (Mena Suvari) is the sister of Trevor and has been called in to help with the lock down. Being a local she uses this opportunity to go into town and see what things are like on the inside. Bud (Stark Sands) is chosen to accompany her with this task. She finds out her mom is sick and takes her to the hospital. While in the waiting room, Bud notices that there are a lot of people in the hospital with the exact same symptoms as Sarah’s mom. The nose bleed seems to be the first indicator then things go south from there. Bud goes back to warn the others what he is witnessing. By the time he gets to Sarah, she already knows because it is happening all through the hospital almost simultaneously. During the fracas Sarah is separated from her brother and his girlfriend, but they all try to decide the best laid plans for escape and attempt to make sense out of what is going on, why this is happening, and how do they stop it.
The acting has its moments, but isn’t the worst to come across screen. Suvari and Welch don’t do a great job as siblings, but their characters keep on mentioning past history which never really gets brought to light. Maybe if it had, their interactions would have made more sense. This is one of those instances though were I might lean towards bad writing over bad acting.
The effects were fair. I like some of the make-up, but I also like my zombie films with it’s fair share of fake blood. When I say fake blood I mean a little more of the syrup and a lot less of the CGI kind. CGI seemed to be more of a crutch for this movies FX rather than an enhancer. There were some decent looking zombies and some pretty nice kills to go along with everything, but the CGI in this movie was a bit of a downer throughout for me.
As you can tell from the synopsis the movie doesn’t really go along the same story lines of the original and it really doesn’t do much with what it has. I also wasn’t a fan of them trying to wink at us by using Bud to replace the classic zombie Bub from Romero’s film. That whole storyline was rushed and missed out on what Bub actually was. In this one, Bud is the way he is because he is a vegetarian and he is infatuated with Sarah (another carry over name). The movie has its moments, but completely fails for me with plot. The zombies in this movie also turned me off, just by the fact they sort of were super zombies. They were crawling on ceilings, moving extra fast (even for zombie runners), and they seemed to have picked up super human strength from the other side. Just doesn’t do it for me. This unfortunately is another instance in where the title is trying to sell the movie, without the movie making any attempt at being any good.