Sunday, October 14, 2012

Horror Film Review

Humans vs. Zombies (2011):  Zombie flick!  Duh.  Very few things about this movie didn't piss me off so I don't foresee an in-depth review in the offing.  As I've said in the past, you can't reinvent the wheel when it comes to zombie flicks.  The "hook" this time is that the focus is on college kids who are into LARP (live action role playing), you know, people dress up like Frodo or some dungeon master and run around the woods with rubber swords and trash can lids.  I've done it...when I was eight.  Anyway, some of these LARPers play a thing called Zombie Apocalypse.  Leader of these of geeks is freshman Danny (Jonah Priour).  Danny's roommate is the older, non-LARPer jock James (Jesse Ferraro).  James' best friend is Brad (Chip Joslin) who seems to think he's Jack Black.  Amanda (Melissa Carnell) is a super hot friend of James who Danny's in love with, and Tommi (Dora Madison Burge) is a blogging gamer theorized to be a lesbian (she's not) who James has the hots for despite the fact that she despises him.  Last and most certainly least is Frank, campus security chief full of conspiracy theories and itching for vindication and a fight.  There are some other folks but they matter not at all. 

So how does it start this time?  Hell, I don't know.  One minute they're talking about ants infested with parasites in South America and the next they're going on about organisms being used to clean up oil spills.  It couldn't make any less difference.  Soon the small college town is overrun and all of the aforementioned players band together, run to the security office, think about staying, decide to travel through the dark and creepy underground passageways to go...somewhere, but zombies find them...somehow, so they hole up in a gas station.  Then the poor attempt at pathos begins.  Danny and Amanda are now in love, decide to have some sex, she tells him she's been bitten, and they do the nasty anyway.  James and Tommi do that love/hate dance that is more nauseating than the gore.  Frank thinks they'll be safer in a church (as opposed to a gas station where they'd have numerous weapons to choose from and an endless supply of Molotov cocktails) so they run to the church.  Amanda changes, bites Danny and that's it for them.  In the church, Brad goes down screaming and James and Tommi run.  They get to a set of railroad tracks, hold hands, giggle a little bit and walk toward their future.  End movie.  But wait!  There's a final scene!  What could it be?  Well, here are a gaggle of zombies swarming over a set of railroad tracks.  And here they are descending on a pair of recently deceased bodies.  How strange that these bodies are wearing the same clothes as James and Tommi...

They tried to infuse this film with humor (didn't work) and interpersonal drama (almost worked but didn't).  Hot babe Amanda fell for super geek Danny without half a thought.  Yeah, that always happens.  James loses his roommate and best friend in the span of five minutes but shows as much emotion as a block of wood.  And in the last few minutes of the film we find out that Frank and the priest are immune to the zombies' attention because they were dosed with chemicals during wartime, Iraq and Vietnam, respectively.  How does this make sense?  Beats the hell out of me.  And then the hope of seeing James and Tommi striding down the railroad tracks only to have it yanked away seconds later?  Manipulative bullshit.  A director copping out.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.


Acting:  Ferraro as James is the worst of the lot.  Honestly, I think he's a robot.  The rest of the performances are vary from ok to eye-rollingly icky.
Story:  Swiss cheese has nothing on this script.  The LARPing idea had possibilities but is virtually abandoned until the last act, but by then, it's just silly.
Direction:  I have my doubts there really was a director involved. 
Production Values:  I wish I had more to complain about in this category but I don't.  Well, the sound could've been better.  Good quality film, acceptable lighting, and the sets aren't cheap crap.  I couldn't find what the budget was.
Gore/FX:  The blood and gore are about average for an R-rated zombie movie.  There's a little CGI.  It's not great but it's also not awful. 
Scares:  A few scenes had potential but fell flat. 
Ending:  Infuriatingly asinine.
Verdict:  Should you see Humans vs. Zombies?  Oh, just don't.

Rating:  1 out of 5

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