We're still in the process of developing and growing Daily Dead, so while I'd love to be able to review every single film sent my way, there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. However, I am watching new horror films regularly and wanted to offer my impressions on a number of recently released titles.
This will be my first impressions or mini-review feature and I'm planning on testing the waters with it over the next few months. For the first feature, I'm covering three "survival" movies: [REC] 3 Genesis, Dead Season, and The Collapsed.
[REC] 3: Genesis
Director Paco Plaza intentionally set out to create a movie that felt very different from the first two [REC] films. The found footage elements are mostly removed and we're presented with a romantic horror film that is carried by Leticia Dolera's performance.
The mention of this being more of a romantic movie may instantly turn someone off, but that is not the issue with this film. The main problem is that Dolera's performance and the serious romantic story do not gel with some of the outrageous elements. There are a number of plot issues and scenes that will feel too campy to be taking place in the same world as the first two films.
[REC] 3 is not the movie that fans of the series were hoping for, but it does have a certain charm to it. The movie is entertaining as a standalone film and Leticia Dolera's performance keeps things moving. However, it feels like a missed opportunity to further develop these characters and the horrors of an outbreak taking place during a wedding party.
This is not a perfect movie, but I'd recommend it to horror fans looking for something new to watch. Just remember to think of it as a standalone film and not something taking place in the world of [REC] and [REC] 2.
It's a shame that Dead Season came out when it did, because plenty of people will think it's a quick cash-in on Dead Island and The Walking Dead. That's not the case, though, as this movie was developed more than two years ago and there are some interesting ideas here.
Dead Season is an independent production that filmed on the island of Vieques. With so many zombie movies being released that take place when the infection starts, I look forward to stories that focus on what the survivors do well after the initial outbreak. Sadly, the budget and lack of experience keeps the filmmakers' vision from being fully realized and prevents it from standing out from the pack. In particular, the story provides a number of moral dilemmas, but quickly passes over them rather than spending more time exploring the horrors of these actions. In a post-Walking Dead world, and with countless zombie movies being released this year alone, fans are expecting more from the sub-genre.
With that being said, I found that the gore and make-up effects in this movie were impressive for the budget and I'd like to see what this creative team can do in the future. I can't recommend this to most horror fans, but if you need to watch any zombie movie you can get your hands on, give this one a try to see zombies in a new location and some interesting story ideas.
The Collapsed is another independent post-apocalypse movie, but takes a decidedly different take from most of the films being released. While many independent productions will stretch their budget too thin, this team used it creatively, and focused on character and story development.
The plot revolves around a family that rushes out of the city after an apocalyptic event to meet up with their son. On the way, they find themselves being hunted in the woods by another group of survivors. The family is lead by John Fantasia, who gives a strong performance as the father who must protect his family from this new threat.
Overall, I was very impressed with the story and dialogue, and found this film to be a refreshing independent take on a sub-genre that is lacking new ideas. It is very apparent that this is a low budget production and some will find this too slow-moving for their tastes. However, for those who can look past the budget and experience issues, you'll be treated to an interesting story that I'd compare to something out of The Twilight Zone.