Night of the Living Dead Review
Written by: gothiczen
This is the one. This is the only. This is the fetid rotting corpse that gave birth to hundreds of imitators - Night of the Living Dead. It is a film of black-and-white perfection, social commentary, and just down and dirty scary.
The plot is straightforward - a group of strangers holes up in an old farmhouse and decide between flight or fight. The character's are deflty drawn and the conflict is palpable. The living are more of a threat than the wandering dead that hobble outside. Tensions inside the house litaerally explode.
Romero was not just interested in making a wuick buck - he wanted his film to have depth, to say something about what it means to be human. The dead are slow and plodding, and posses only a minimum of intelligence - yet they manage to thwart the living.
The survivors themselves have issues - Duane Jones, our hero, is also a little power hungry. The married couple are too wrapped up in their romance to realize the real threat. The married couple are too busy bickering and fighting while their daughter dies from a zombie bite. Barbara - the original, stays catatonic, unable to cope. There is no group here - only individuals. No one works together and this nicely leads to the films almost unwatchable conclusion.
This is a beautifully filmed masterpiece of tension and terror. If you have not seen this than shame on you. While not gorey the viiolence is disturbing - it gets under your skin because it seems so authentic. Watch for the trowel scene - it still gives me nightmares as do the bloody screams.
The black and white seems to make the film surreal - where reality is played out on the thin edge of insanity. It is a multi-layered film that pulls no punches.