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(Review originally written at 20 December 2006)

It's a short of shame that the only classic regarded George A. Romero is "Dawn of the Dead", while this movie is just at least as good and classic in my opinion.

Compared to its predecessors, this movie is more gruesome and gore filled, yet the zombies themselves play a less prominent role. This movie is also a great reflection of human nature. The real monsters of this movie are not really the zombies but the military and scientist of this movie. This is perhaps why this movie isn't as 'loved' by the mainstream audience, as much as its predecessor "Dawn of the Dead". It's too serious and at the same too unlikely. I'm not complaining though, I like this approach and it reminded me very much of, the one year after this movie released movie, "Aliens", which showed similarities with its story, characters and settings. I'm sure it's a coincidence all but interesting to notice nevertheless.

But don't worry, there also is plenty to enjoy here for the fans of horror and gore. The zombies look better than ever. They actually look like decaying bodies now, more than was the case in the previous 'Dead' movies. The make-up and effects are fantastic. There are some gruesome gory sequences in the movie, such as character getting torn apart, while they are still alive in screaming. Limbs, fingers and even heads get torn- and bitten off in this movie like it's nothing. Their flesh is getting peeled off while they're screaming, they're heads are torn off while their are still moving and their body is still moving, their stomachs opened, their legs ripped off. Anyway, you get the picture of how this movie is like. The movie has countless like those and other sequences in it. It's about as gory and gruesome as you'll ever see, in a genre movie like this one. You thought "Dawn of the Dead" was gross? You've ain't seen nothing yet!

The zombies look better than ever and they also behave better than ever. You really get the feel of danger, which is also thanks to the claustrophobic environment. They act like more dangerous beings and seem to be more effective in their actions and movements, with of course Bub the zombie as the best and most entertaining zombie of the movie, that becomes an actual- and essential character in the story as well.

The story is simple but it should get kudos for trying to explain things and create multiple layers with its characters and story. Toward the ending of the movie all the gloves are off and the movie turns into a typical Romero gore-fest, while the characters are trying to escape.

The movie uses some good looking and claustrophobic settings. For most part the movie is set underground. This works definitely more scary and more dangerous as a backdrop than a shopping mall, although it of course doesn't make it as entertaining.

Of course once more the acting isn't top-class and it doesn't use any well known actors. Yet the characters themselves are fun and well written. This compensates a lot for the simple acting in the movie. The characters are all quite stereotypical and over-the-top but very entertaining at the same time, because of that very same reason.

A brilliantly made, gore filled, zombie-movie classic, from George A. Romero, that is criminally underrated and deserves just as much recognition and praise as the other Romero masterpiece "Dawn of the Dead".

10/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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