Night of the Living Dead (2014)

03/28/2018 07:43

Film: Night of the Living Dead

Year: 2014

Director: Chad Zuver

Writer: Chad Zuver

Starring: Yassie Hawkes, Calhoun Koenig and Kayla Elizabeth



This film begins with a car driving down the road. The driver is played by Mark Klein. With him is his two daughters, Barbara is played by Melissa Zahs and Casey by Lisa Marie. Marie’s boyfriend is also along played by J.J. Lahey. They are on their way to a cemetery to visit the grave of Klein’s wife who also was Zahs and Marie’s mother. Lahey tries the whole time to scare Marie to the point where she is getting annoyed. A man walks toward them and Marie goes to apologize for how Lahey is acting and the man attacks. He kills Lahey. More of them appear, killing Zahs as well and she turns into a zombie.

The other two run until they happen across Gad Holland. He has a gun and he pistol whips a zombie that is attacking him. He shoots it in the leg, forcing it to crawl. He talks with Klein and Marie, asking if the house they are in front of is theirs. They tell him no, thinking it was his. They knock at the door, but no one answers. Marie sees someone inside and they pound on the door as well as yell for help. They are finally let in.

Inside they meet a lesbian couple of Kayla Elizabeth and Rebkka Daniel. There is also a mother and daughter, with the daughter played by Layla M. Thomas and the mother by Sarah Bertz Thomas. Thomas has been bitten on the arm by one of the zombies outside.

They encounter a zombie in the house that is played by Lindsey LaForest. Holland learns that by shooting them in the head, it will stop them. He only has two bullets left though. There is more in the truck that is parked outside. The truck itself has run out of gas. Can these people survive the undead? Or will they be turned one by one?

Now I heard about this film a couple years ago, but it took me a while to find a way to view it. Today I found it streaming and was finally able to watch it. The original film that this is remaking is my father’s favorite film of all time. I really like the original, especially its historical significance in the creation of this zombie genre. This version does do some really good things. The story is very similar, but this one does some different takes on it. This one is celebrating more diversity in having a lesbian couple. It actually is a female dominant cast as well, which I found to be interesting. It also reverses having the mother bitten instead of the daughter, so that important scene is flipped later. This film also tackles the racist issue head on, where the original only does because the lead was played by an African-American. I did find it interesting in how they discover to kill the zombies in this one as well.

The acting for this film was very amateur, so I won’t harp on it too much as this is a low budget film. There is a lot of yelling and I’m not entirely sure why sometimes. They say at one point that they need to be quiet so the zombies don’t know where they are, but they are being very loud for so long, it doesn’t seem like it matters now. Klein does fumble over his lines quite a bit, to the point where it is noticeable. I also didn’t buy that the actors were old enough to have kids the age they do. Klein and Thomas are who I mean.

The editing of the film needed some work as well. We get where people are standing there, waiting for something to happen to them with a zombie. I feel that if they would have cut it where it happens almost at the same time, it would have tightened the film up. The way it is doesn’t look as good as it could. As for the soundtrack, I think it was a bad idea to use songs with the words in them in the middle of the film, especially when there is dialogue being spoken. During the montage scene, it wasn’t bad because we are seeing that Marie is going to fight as she thinks of all the bad things that have happened to her. I didn’t mind it there, but there are a couple of other times that was not the best choice.

Now with that said, this was an average film. I don’t want to be too hard on it since it is low budget and it did some good things. The writing was a little bit stiff, but I like taking the concept and story from Night of the Living Dead and updating it. It used a diverse cast that come off as amateur, but I didn’t mind it too bad. The editing could have been tightened up and some of the soundtrack choices were questionable. If you don’t like low budget horror films, I would avoid this. As I’ve said, it is an average zombie film, but I have seen much worse with a much bigger budget than this one.


My Rating: 5 out of 10