Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Horror Film Review

The Battery (2012):  Odd little zombie flick that's part Walking Dead and part Clerks.  I know that sounds more than a little counter-intuitive, but I can't think of a better way to describe it.  While not as good as either, The Battery is still a tense, claustrophobic journey through zombie-infested New England that for reasons I can't quite sort out, holds your attention for the full 101 minutes.

Ben (Jeremy Gardner) and Mickey (Adam Cronheim), fellow semi-pro ball players who are more acquaintances than friends, survived a zombie siege and decide to stick together.  Ben's adapted to the present circumstances, taking on the role of protector and leader.  Mickey...well, Mickey has yet to kill even one zombie and mostly just listens to his CD player, content to leave the heavy lifting to Ben.  When Mickey overhears an errant CB conversation between a man and woman, he begins obsessing about the possibility of having a somewhat normal life...that and the woman herself.  Mickey's horny.

Despite several warnings to knock it off, Mickey keeps trying to communicate with her.  This, of course, leads to a confrontation in which Ben gets shot in the leg and their car keys tossed into a field.  As a result, the final act of the film is Ben and Mickey trapped in an immobile vehicle that's surrounded by scores of zombies.  After a couple of days, Mickey mans up and chooses to make a break for it to search for the keys.  Doesn't go very well.

The Battery is less horror and more character study, which by no means makes it any less interesting.  And it's one of the most realistic portrayals of post zombie apocalypse life I've ever seen.  Now, of course that doesn't mean we get to know the cause or get to see how Ben and Mickey survived the siege.  Weirdly, you won't care because of how well the filmmakers draw you into the present.  As interesting as it is, however, my only real complaint is the lack of action.  It's a tiny bit boring.

The Skinny

Acting:  About on par with the boys from Clerks.  Not awful but not exactly Oscar-worthy.
Story:  Not complicated.
Direction:  Really not complicated.
Production Values:  Made for the shocking sum of six grand, it has the best money/quality ratio I've ever seen.  Impressive.
Gore/FX:  Average amount of blood.  No CGI that I remember.
Scares:  One or two minor jumps.
Ending:  Not unexpected.
Verdict:  Should you see The Battery?  It's worth your while unless you need gratuitous carnage and ridiculous plot devices in your zombie flick.  If you do, just go watch Wyrmwood instead.

Rating:  3 out of 5

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