So I just watched George A. Romero’s “Diary of the Dead” and I gotta say it was much better than Land of the Dead. It’s very reminiscent of Cloverfield so if that one made you queasy at all avoid this one. The premise is a group of student film makers are doing a project when the zombie outbreak hits. The director of the “movie” Jason takes it upon himself to document the events as they happen with his handheld camera (a la Cloverfield). The biggest difference between the two is Jason is not nearly as likeable as Hud was in Cloverfield, in fact there are times when he’s just not likeable at all.
It’s not a perfect movie by any means, it kind of retcons his earlier works. The original trilogy of Night, Dawn and Day obviously take place in the past and semi tied together, this one takes place in the day of YouTube, camera phones and DVR cameras which is fine because obviously you can’t really go back and make this one work. My other gripe about it is there are times when it’s so dark due to lack of lighting, camera angle, etc. that it’s hard to make out what’s going on in the movie.
For what it is though it’s a really good movie, very tense in parts and the gore is not over done but is effective for the movie. I had to laugh at one point early on in the movie, the film the students are making is about a killer mummy. The character playing the mummy moves too fast for Jason and he says something to the effect “Dead things don’t move fast, they shamble!” which was an obvious shot at the Dawn remake from a few years back. If your a fan of Romero, you’ll like this movie, if you liked Cloverfield you will probably like this as well. Me? I liked them both so I really dug it. On a scale of 1-10 I’d give it an 8.5. It would be higher if it weren’t for the dark shots where your kind of lost. Yes I know what he was going for and in the long run it didn’t hurt the movie all that much but it gets kind of old after a while. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see this one in the theaters but given the medium it’s shot one it works well on the small screen. It’s floating around on the ‘net now if you really want to see it, otherwise it comes out on DVD on May 20th 2008.