Day of the Dead (2008)
Film: Day of the Dead
Director: Steve Miner
Writer: Jeffrey Reddick
Starring: Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon and Michael Welch
This film begins showing an empty lot. We then cut inside of a building located by it. There are two couples using it as a hangout. There is Michael Welch and his girlfriend, played by AnnaLynne McCord. They are slow dancing to music. His friend is making out with his girlfriend on the couch; he is played by Hugh Skinner and his girlfriend, Taylor Hoover. Skinner is gross after seeing his actions. Welch and McCord investigate their hangout and she wants to go back home with him to fool around. Welch cuts their time there short. Skinner gets a nosebleed and it gets on the girl he is with. They leave her when she gets upset with him. She starts to walk home and is attacked by a crazed man.
We then learn that there is a military blockade preventing people from leaving this city. There is an outbreak of something within its limits. The man in charged is played by Ving Rhames. A family is trying to take their son to a better hospital, but Rhames won’t let them out, this family is played by Christa Campbell and Robert Rais. Rhames calls another soldier over and this one is played by Mena Suvari. She is from this city and calms the family down. Rhames informs her to make sure that no one gets past the roadblock.
We then meet two soldiers that work under her. One is Nick Cannon and a green private played by Stark Sands. Cannon is cocky and Suvari makes him man the roadblock. She allows Sands to come with her. She takes him to her house where she finds her brother, Welch, and McCord. She is mad at them, especially because their mother is upstairs sick; she is played by Linda Marlowe. They all get into the humvee and head for the hospital.
Once there, we learn that everyone in the city is sick. McCord’s parents are there. Marlowe can’t even be seen by a doctor due the amount of sick people. Rhames shows up with Cannon and wants to speak with Suvari. They take her to a doctor, who is played by Matt Rippy. He is a jerk and is asking a lot of questions about two bodies she found when she went to check on Skinner.
Sands stayed with Marlowe and she stops talking mid-sentence. Actually everyone in the hospital who is sick stops as well. They then all become zombies and attack those who are not infected. Mayhem ensues.
Welch and McCord were in the room with her family and they escape through the window. They end up getting away from the hospital and seek refuge in the local radio station. The DJ is played by Ian McNeice and is leery of letting them in. Campbell and Rais are also there.
Back in the hospital, Rhames is attacked and killed by zombies. Suvari, Cannon, Rippy and Sands seek refuge in a room, but loses the keys to their humvee in the process. They do not have guns and decide they are going to use the air ducts to get the keys from Rhames’ body. They do, but Sands hand is bit by a zombie in the process.
They make weapons from things in the room they are in. Cannon makes a make-shift spear from a crutch and a bone saw. They also make Molotov cocktails. Can they get to the humvee? Will they be able to save Welch and those that are with him? Can they get out of the city alive before it is too late or will the zombies get them? What is Rippy really doing in this town and what does he have to do with this outbreak?
I have to say that I like when a remake is not the same film as the original and this one definitely uses elements of the original, but is a different film. I like that they used characters and ideas from the previous film though. I like that they kept Sands’ character becoming a zombie, but retaining memories of his previous life. This one also did something that George Romero wanted to do in his version, by having zombies fight each other. It isn’t completely what he wanted to do in his original concept though. I think Cannon is pretty funny and Rhames is good as Captain Rhodes for the short time he is in this film. The action scenes aren’t horrible for the most part. I also do not mind having the zombies fast moving in this version as well.
This film does have a lot of issues though for me. I don’t like that there are some zombies who are superhuman, while others are weak. There is a point in the hospital where one runs across the ceiling; this doesn’t make sense to happen. I didn’t mind when Pat Kilbane’s character does it. It did make a little sense due to being one of the first infected. My problem though is that he is dodging bullets when shot by normal people, but not when Sands’ is shooting him. Cannon’s spear also wouldn’t work, due to being held together with gauze and tape. It would not be sturdy to be used as he is. Plus the blade isn’t sharp enough to do what it does. It is little things that ruin the realism for me. I also thought the acting for the most part was subpar. Suvari is not a good fit for the character. Her interaction with Sands doesn’t seem like an interaction between two people in the military, while on duty during a serious situation. They try to force a love interest between them and it makes the film feel odd.
With that said, I would only recommend this one if you are a fan of zombie films. This one is not the greatest, but it is still watchable. If you like fast moving zombies, that is what is in this. The acting is subpar, the story is okay and the action is good. This one is not realistic and that needs to be kept in mind. There are a lot better zombie and horror films out there, but this one is watchable.
My Rating: 5 out of 10