Directed by Miguel Angel Vivas
Aah, those zombie movies just keep creeping up on us like a case of the fiery crabs, don’t they? We’ve seen the damn things in every form, fashion, temperament, speed, and methods of disposal, so why not crank out another? Spanish film director Miguel Angel Vivas decided to neutralize the critics and pound out an undead film, leaving it all out there, but unfortunately this one registered a flatline for me, so let’s dive on in.
Starring Matthew Fox of “Party of Five” and “Lost” fame, his role is that of Patrick, a man who is at odds with his former friend Jack (Donovan) over a slightly adulterous tryst, leaving their relationship in shambles, and Jack is left to take care of his daughter, Lu (McColgan).
The film opens with a survivor-filled bus ride during the evacuation process of a zombie outbreak in the tiny town of Harmony – ironic, isn’t it? Okay, so now we realize who the antagonists are in the film, and we’ve got a (yawn) interesting backstory to follow in the process – wait a minute! – these scenes are throwbacks? Oh crap, scratch that, and flash-forward to 9 years into the future where the apocalypse has taken its toll on society, and Jack and Patrick STILL apparently hate each other – I guess time doesn’t heal all wounds. After all this time, a vicious winter has blanketed the area, leaving our friendly neighbors to carry out the remainder of their sad lives – Patrick is now a full-blown alcoholic, and Jack takes this empty time to train his daughter as a survivalist.
Emma (Valeria Verau) is (or was) the cause of the conflict, and after a short while the audience is introduced to another woman (Clara Lago), who is appropriately titled “woman” – not much is known about her, but her womb is in high demand, and this simply ratchets up the tension. Between all of the strife and turmoil of a friendship gone in the crapper, the zombies still haven’t fully dissipated. They have evolved to an extent – much more vicious and serpentine in appearance.
Unfortunately, this just doesn’t translate into an interesting prospect, no matter how you cut it. At nearly a 2-hour runtime, for too much downtime is present, and frankly there just wasn’t that much interest in the characters to hope for a resolution to their issues or to pray for their safety. Call me cruel if you will. Vivas definitely has an eye for the visuals, as the snowy scenes blend nicely with the multiple night shots to provide extra fright factor, and this certainly looks like a big-budget production.
Alas, the bogged-down performances (outside of McColgan as the young daughter) and lack of interest in the zombie genre made this film, well… extinct. Had this been 7 or 8 years ago and 30 or 40 zombie films ago, I’d be all over it, but that’s just not the case. Applause to Vivas for taking a chance on attempting to revive a dying genre, but this one’s been on the slab for far too long to breathe life into.