Not as much fun as the original
This just wasn’t as much fun as the original. Now, I’m not saying the original was good, I actually thought it was kind of boring considering the concept they had to work with. The difference between the original and the remake can be spelled out by tone and pacing. So far as tone goes, the original mixed a level of absurdity with the violence. Yeah, there were rampaging lunatics, but some of them were fun rampaging lunatics. It gave you the idea that the virus might cause you to be violent but in random and even wacky ways. We’re not talking comedy levels here, just enough to note the difference.
But with the original, the plot just fucking dragged on. It was constantly splitting between the surviving protagonists and the protagonists from the military response. The remake firmly designated the military response as an antagonist and focused firmly on the survivors as the protagonist. That’s good. I wished the first one just decided if it was going to be an outbreak survival movie or a zombie survival movie.
The problem is, if you cut the zaniness, and focus purely on the survival aspect, it’s really just a zombie movie. A well-developed zombie movie, but just a zombie movie. Sure the antagonists now include the military as well as the crazies, but so does Resident Evil 2. I mean, this was one Nemesis away from being the same fucking movie.
Here’s the thing. The acting was pretty good save the female lead, and she wasn’t terrible, just not up to par with the rest of the movie. Some of the secondary cast was better than her. She wasn’t bad enough to ruin it though, so I guess that’s fine.
I feel like the setting they chose actually fucked up the atmosphere. It’s supposed to be a small isolated Midwest town, but there’s supposed to be a military action covering the whole damn county. In the original, it really felt like that. Soldiers were always in the background of every scene and there were constant flyovers. This movie just seemed too open and easy for the protagonists.
I guess I can recommend it. Besides that absolutely outlandish ending, this remake was pretty solid. I can only recommend it for fans of zombie survival and Horror Heads tho.
They couldn’t make their mind up with how this virus affected the host. Right up till this one scene, the only moment a host has any faculties is when they start acting weird, but the moment they become violent, they just kill people. There might be some hesitation, even resistance, but they kill people! What they don’t do is capture people, tie them down, and use them as bait. That was just a bit of a stretch. It’s pretty firmly established that they just don’t have that level of restraint.
Here’s the worst part about that, they didn’t even need the scene with two infected people capturing and tying down the female lead. They set up this whole fucking movie to have a third antagonist that would have done just fine for a scene like that. There’s this hillbilly trio that’s happier than a pig in shit with the local state of unrest. They decide to take it upon themselves to have a little fun, hunting down survivors, infected or not. How, as a director, do you miss an opportunity like that?! Those three psychos were just the kind of people to capture any member of the protagonists and use them as bait.
They also copped out with the death of the supporting actress. She clearly starts showing symptoms, but rather than creating a situation where they’d be forced to kill her, they just have her get killed off. It’s kind of a bitch move for a movie that was otherwise pretty brutal.
There’s a ton of things I could harp on, but I wanna get to the ending. First, the military wouldn’t use a nuke. We’ve had mas incendiary weapons since 2001, and a couple of those would do the job and actually fit the cover-up story (which was a chemical plant explosion). I mean, how the fuck was the military going to explain the levels of radiation over the next eight decades? Second, the female lead would be blind, flat out blind, from witnessing the initial detonation. Third, the heat would have been so bad they would have suffocated, and most of the truck, with them inside it would have been incinerated. Finally, -purely hypothetically- if they’d somehow managed to survive the shock-wave, they’d have been irradiated. Their skin would start falling off in mere minutes.
So, you know what that means I guess. Say it with me now, in your best Morbo impersonation, technically “THERE WERE NO SURVIVORS!!!”
Otherwise, it wasn’t that bad and I guess it deserves a passing grade… sorta.
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