Review: Diary Of The Dead


If, like me, you are a big fan of the Zombie films of Mr George Romero; then no doubt you have been looking forward to his follow up to 2005’s ‘Land of the dead’. No doubt you have also read the mainly bad press concerning this film.

I have to say, after reading other reviews before seeing the film myself I was ready for a disappointment. And ironically, that was the only point that this film didn’t disappoint on.

Much like "The Blair Witch Project" the film is supposed to be film footage produced by a group of film students, but unlike blair witch this is a complete film, with narration from one of the “students”. As soon as the narration started I sighed a gasp of despair, it meant that at least one of the students was going to survive. Not a good start.

After a bit of an intro from said narrator, the film starts proper with the students producing a low budget horror film for their course, it’s during the shooting that the first word of zombie sightings comes out over the radio. After a bit of whining the kids go off in 2 groups: a couple go off to laze about in the rich kid’s mansion, while the other half decide to go home to see their various families. It’s the latter group that the action follows, with the film director obsessing over capturing the crisis for the future.

After a quick stop to pick up the directors missus (who is the aforementioned narrator), the film gets going. Its pretty much what you’d expect, they run into zombies, they scream, they manage to get hold of weapons, they realise that headshots kill them. This formula continues for most of the film in various locations.

This is the main problem with the film: it goes no-where. I’m not saying the film is without its charms, there are some fun bits of gore: you get to see what happens when you electrocute a zombies head… Mmmm satisfying, and the film was almost worth it for the introduction to a deaf Amish farmer called Samuel. I guarantee you will laugh when he appears, if you see the film that is.

Ultimately this film is a missed opportunity; mainly because of all the action being seen through the eyes of the characters, you often miss things you’d really want to see. Or the camera will untimely run out of power or someone else wants the camera turned off. It gets frustrating.

I just hope that all this gets taken under consideration when, and if the rumoured sequel is produced.

I really can’t bring myself to recommend this film, its not pure shit, but it’s close. It’s sort of the faecal equivalent of ‘I can’t believe it’s not butter’. "I Can’t Believe it’s not Shit" if you will. There are a few good ideas and set pieces, but it’s just not enough. Don’t waste your money going to the cinema, if you’re a fan of zombie films rent it with a few friends, and ideally with a decent amount of alcohol on standby. Just don’t expect another great zombie film from a master of the genre, even "Day of the Dead" (which I personally consider the weakest of his previous films) is infinitely more watchable than "diary".

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