Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eli Roth & Cast of The Last Exorcism

I'm too excited for Monday. I'll be heading to the Toronto After Dark Film Fest 2010 to see the red carpet screening of The Last Exorcism. Not just that, but Eli Roth, Patrick Fabian and Iris Bahr will be there for a Q&A session following the movie. I may or may not do everything I can to meet Eli Roth up close. Yes, I will. Anyway, check out the After Dark Film Fest's lineup - it's pretty awesome and I will probably be going for some other flicks this week. A week of horror with horror lovers! Stay tuned for my review of The Last Exorcism on Tuesday!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Splice (2010)

I had high expectations going in and I was utterly satisfied when coming out. Splice kept me on the edge of my seat, anxious to know what was coming next (you know it's nothing good but you just hope...).

First of all, Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley - good on ya for taking a risky role and doing a fantastic job. They were awesome. Someone said to me the other day, "Oh I don't like Sarah Polley - she takes on the weirdest roles. Like that movie with the alien." Well POO TO YOU because Sarah Polley is our Canadian hero. Okay fine, that's exaggerating it a tad.

I think I already summed up the basic plot in a previous post about movies I was looking forward to so I won't repeat myself. Plus this is so old that people probably already know everything they need to know. But I'm here to say, GO RENT THIS MOVIE AND WATCH IT if you didn't see it in theaters. It's intelligent, it's refreshing, it's just downright interesting.

Downsides. As with the reviews I read beforehand, some scenes are... kind of funny, one in particular. The audience laughed. I laughed. I'm not sure what the original intent was, but I think it could have been disturbing and very serious (it was still disturbing yet funny) and it didn't quite hit the mark. You'll know what I mean when you see it, although I feel like if the rest of the audience didn't burst out laughing it would have made a harder and darker impact on me. Then the last 20 minutes is bizarre and drags out too long, but it doesn't make Splice as a whole any less interesting or great.

I'll definitely be picking this one up and watching it again very soon.

Overall: 8/10
Gore meter: 1/10 (nothing bloody or gross here)
Scare meter: 1/10 (besides some tense scenes nothing here is scary either)
Interesting meter: 9.5/10

The Human Centipede

The Human Centipede: The First Sequence (2010)

I know, I know this is such OLD news. Everybody has heard about it in some form or another and opinions have been voiced plenty of times. But heck, it was a movie that made me sick to my stomach just hearing about the plot, so there's no way in hell I'm not reviewing it. Plus, my co-worker JUST TODAY mentioned it during lunch, about how his friend told him the plot and he couldn't even handle it.

Bottom line is, the film more or less boils down to: Fuck, that is really disgusting. You know what's coming, you know it's disgusting, and you know you're going to be sick to your stomach and that's exactly what happens. The poor actresses in the film couldn't act, but you only had to withstand it for the very beginning because then heck, their mouths are sewn to someone's butt and they can't speak. So their acting becomes crying, muffled crying, muffled screaming, tearing up. Yeah, they did that pretty well. The plot is pfffbbbt, full of predictable escape attempts and all that jazz.

I will say that Dieter Laser, who plays the sick doctor did a pretty crazy and good job in his role. He was creepy, but in an over the top way that was... suitable for an over the top movie. I still didn't feel intimidated, tense, scared, or anything but disgusted throughout the film though. 

So basically, it was disgusting. No surprise there!

Overall: 2/10
Gore meter: 1/10 (you don't see much blood, cutting, etc.)
Scare meter: 2/10
Disgusting/uncomfortable meter: 11/10

I'm Not Dead

So, I've been away for a little while - you know, I had to solve like all these annoying puzzles and traps before this robotic clown guy let me back out into the real world. It was a bitch but I'm here now.
I'm going to get back into the swing of things. I'll do some reviews of some old(er) horror movies I've missed writing about in the past few months. Not sure how many epic ones I've seen recently, although I'm looking forward to The Last Exorcism! There is a giant poster in the downtown core where I work and every time I see it I smile.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Dread (2009)

I haven't seen all the 8 Films to Die For movies but I am going to declare Dread the best so far. It started off a little slow and had me a bit skeptical at first, but ended with such a bang that I have no other choice than to give it praise here.

Dread tells the story of 3 college kids out to make a documentary for one of their film classes. One of the three students has severe issues after witnessing the brutal murder of his parents as a child, and he comes up with the idea of documenting what people's darkest fears are. Deciding that the interviews are too tame, he sets out to actually put people into their scariest nightmare and says it's the next phase in their experiment. I know, the story sounds rather cliche and it is, but the execution was spot on with great acting, a phenomenal soundtrack, and superb character development.

As I mentioned, I was a skeptic at first. I felt like the beginning and middle were decent/good, but I was mostly focused on how Jackson Rathbone, the main character, really needed a haircut and shave. I'm sorry, you can be a good looking dude, but not without going to a salon stat. Besides the hair, I got a bit annoyed by the antagonist (the one setting up the experiments) because he's one of those characters that has OBVIOUS psychological issues and as a regular person you would never EVER continue to hang out with him, trust him, etc. etc. So when the main characters continue to interact with him, I tended to roll my eyes.

But once you get over that little bump, the last third of this film sets it apart from the cliched plot. There is one of the most gut-wrenching scenes I've seen in a long time... maybe ever (I don't want to ruin it here). As with the most successful of horrors, this is all psychological - no torture porn here! It's not the gore that gets you, it's the fact that you feel for the character. Phenomenal scene. Strong and dark ending (although it left me feeling rather unsatisfied/depressed). The last act of this film drove it to the finish line with me cheering. When the film was over and I was closing my eyes to sleep, I actually felt quite unsettled and even a tiny bit frightened. :)

Overall: 7.5/10
Gore meter: 5/10
Scare meter: 5/10
Uncomfortable meter: 9/10

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Triangle (2009)

Melissa George! I've had a huge fan girl crush on her ever since Alias. Well, that's a lie, because when I saw her on Alias I HATED her guts since she was the arch-enemy of Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner). But then I grew up and realized she was gorgeous and imagined in my head an Agent Bristow-Agent Reed sort of love. Whaaat who said I wasn't a big Alias-loving geek as well as a horror fiend? So anyway, I guess my love for Melissa George started with The Amityville Horror remake, and then Turistas, and then 30 Days of Night! I love a gorgeous horror actress with an awesome accent.

Back on track - on to Triangle. Jess (Melissa George) is a single mother to an autistic child and right off the bat she's a little wonky. Her friends encourage her to go onto this day trip sailing adventure and she agrees. Their boat gets caught in a random storm and they are forced to dock a large ocean liner that is... dun dun dun... EMPTY! Gasp! Weird shit begins to happen, such as seeing a small group of people in the water waving for help. Jess rushes to help them but realizes that it's THEMSELVES. What the fuck!

Okay, so Triangle is a film that attempts to be mind boggling and uses time loops and crazy things like that. It's a film that people might roll their eyes at, like, "time loop?! If you look here and here and here you'll realize that this movie makes no sense and blah blah blah blah," etc. Thankfully I'm not that type of movie watcher. Or rather, when I watch a thriller/horror like Triangle, I know not to over think things (unlike say, a film like Donnie Darko which begs you to analyze it). And that's the beauty - if you don't over think the time loop aspect, I think this is definitely an engaging film. Melissa George is a fantastic lead (no bias here, of course) and some of the boat scenes are definitely full of suspense. 

I wouldn't call this an original film by any stretch of the imagination. How many times have we ourselves tried to write a story using time loops and time travel and all that? As unoriginal as you might think it is though, I haven't actually seen a film recently that I can think of that uses time manipulation like Triangle. It's probably because it doesn't make much sense. Haha. But whatever, it's kind of fun. And hey would you look at that, Wikipedia tells me that Triangle has generally been well-received by critics!

Overall: 6.5/10
Gore meter: 2/10
Scare meter: 2/10 (both not gory or scary; just a thriller)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Plants vs. Zombies - Cutest Zombies in the World?

I love tower defense games. I love zombies. I love plants (well, the ones that don't give me allergies). Hence, when Plants vs. Zombies came out middle of last year I was in looooove. My only beef was that the game was a bit too easy, but the extra puzzles and mini-games made up for that. Anyway, I've finished the game 3 times through already and had put it aside for quite a while. But then I saw this a few days ago:

Whaaaaat! Plants vs. Zombies HD on the iPad with an extra mini-game! Jealous (I don't have an iPad just yet). Until I get one, I will be renewing my love for the game. Yes, it's good enough that you can play again and again. And nothing makes me laugh more than the end credits zombie dance. I also say "bwains" alllll the time like they do in the game. So adorable. And when was the last time you heard someone call a zombie adorable?!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Really Looking Forward to...

The Human Centipede: First Sequence (April 28, 2010)

Ahhh I don't even know what to say about this movie. Ever since seeing the drawings of the 'human centipede' idea and this trailer I've been constantly thinking about this concept in true disgust and interest. It grosses me out to no end but what can I say, it's certainly original! Three tourists are taken by a crazy doctor who thinks that connecting the three victims (mouth to anus) and severing their knee caps, is the way of the future. I have NO fucking clue why he thinks it's the way of the future, but like, ahhhhhh! It's so ick, but I'm so intrigued.
P.S. Yes, they've already announced a sequel. With 12 segments to the centipede. No comment.

Splice (June 4, 2010)

Oooo this sci-fi film has me drooling in anticipation, but I fear that my expectations are getting too high. I've read some mixed reviews from people who saw the early screenings, but I still have my hopes high in the sky. Guillermo del Toro is producing, and it stars Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley (I love you, Sarah!). These two scientists splice a variety of animal DNA with human DNA and they end up with a deformed female infant. But then she rapidly grows into a deadly winged human-chimera! Holy shit!

A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30, 2010)

I know what you're (probably) thinking - you're excited about a remake?! A remake of a CLASSIC? Let me try and justify this - I didn't grow up with A Nightmare on Elm Street. I saw it like, a year ago. Seriously. And I LOVE it and I LOVE the concept so much that I cry for the kids who have never seen it and will never see it unless it's reborn as a remake. I am also not a hater for remakes - as in, I love Dawn of the Dead (2004) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006), etc. I view them almost separately from the originals and I do indeed enjoy modernizing some of the outdated concepts/imagery/technology. I understand that most remakes are bad, but here's to hoping that my little cousin can get scared as shit by Freddy.

These three are just movies releasing really really soon that I'm looking forward to. Of course there are a heck of a lot more in development. Most notably, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES starring NATALIE PORTMAN. Seriously, that's three of my favorite things right there. Pride & Prejudice (I know, it's weird that I like P&P; don't ask me why I do), zombies, and Natalie Portman. Love.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


A question I've always had is why do almost ALL zombie films take place in a world where the mere idea of a zombie has never come into existence? All these films are set in a world EXACTLY like ours EXCEPT for the fact that nobody knows what a zombie is. When the attack first happens you always see a character trying to explain what is going on to somebody else... "they're... the people are... they're biting other people! They're dead but not! People have gone crazy!" Why the hell wouldn't you say, "Holy shit it's like ZOMBIES ARE REAL NOW!" Or maybe you don't want to use the word "zombie" so loosely, but when you shoot the thing 50 times in the chest/arms/legs and it doesn't die, maybe it's time to think, "In the hundred zombie movies I saw, they always said aim for the head so maybe I should try that!" but nope. Shooting them in the head is ALWAYS a new piece of information. 

I think it's just an interesting point and I'm not sure why most filmmakers choose to do this. It's not like me knowing about the concept of a zombie will better prepare me to learn how to use a gun or be able to stomach the blood/pain or find a cure. In fact, wouldn't it be awesome to have a film where it focuses on a group of people who have a Zombie Defense Plan set out already as a joke (but not) and then zombies actually attack? Wait, that's me! Somebody come make a film about me.

The Final

The Final (2010)

Hmm, seems like I've been watching a lot of After Dark movies. This one is from the 2010 lineup and I read a really positive review on Bloody-Disgusting which got me interested. Bullies in high school getting what they deserve... everybody loves that! Yes yes yes, REVENGE HORROR. But what started as a cool premise quickly took the wrong turn for me.

The film starts off with a very generic black and white scene of a girl who has a mutilated face who walks into a diner, gets stared at, and screams, "I didn't choose to look this way!" (or something along those lines). If you can't guess why she looks like that then you need to go to Horror Movie 101. Or rather, Movie 101. The Final starts off this way, and continues the entire way through - as in, everything is predictable. No need to strap in your seatbelt or anything. A bunch of outcasts want revenge on their bullies and that's basically it.

Even still, if you can create great character development that makes us really feel for the bullied kids I would get behind the entire movie, but if you can believe this, I actually felt really bad for the bullies and wanted them to escape. Yes, bullying in high school is bad, and in some cases (often reported on CNN), leads to some serious and tragic results. However, The Final doesn't push the viewer to feel what the bullied kids are going through - we see them being called some names, not being invited to a party, etc. Typical high school crap which doesn't justify the outcasts wanting to torture them to that degree. It's like, what if the Glee club kids (on the show Glee, I mean) turned around and wanted to torture the shit out of those jocks... weird and uncalled for. I think if more time was spent on character development it would have saved this film. Granted, The Final also explains why else the outcasts in The Final are fucked up - family problems, abuse, etc. but that's where I stop relating to the outcasts. These kids are actually fucked up, like serial killer fucked up - they're not just normal kids pushed to the edge by bullying (which sure, I think I could be).

Mix that in with some really horribly long and cliche "lessons" in why bullying is bad and you have a snoozefest. It's the sort of "lesson" that screams in your face BULLYING IS BAD AND YOU COULD BE TORTURED IF YOU AREN'T NICE! The gore is "meh" at best, and I finish this movie in my bed ready to go to sleep. I'm not sure, maybe if you can find yourself relating to these outcasts you'll be cheering for their revenge, but the outcasts lost my sympathy much too quickly.

Overall: 4.5/10
Gore meter: 6/10
Scare meter: 3/10
Laugh meter: 2/10 (oh oops, this movie wasn't meant to be funny?! Seriously though, watch the lead outcast make his speech about bullying and tell me you don't laugh both at the bad acting and the "message" of the movie)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Movies that F'd My Soul

I haven't seen a movie that's f'd my soul in a while but the song Your Witness from Martyrs came on my iTunes and automatically I felt like crap. Psychological damage, seriously!

Movies that f'd my soul include...

The Ring (2002)
Look, it's not my fault I saw The Ring when I was in my early teens. I guess every person has a movie they saw when they were young that scared the CRAP out of them. Everyone has their own The ShiningThe ExorcistThe Blair Witch Project, or the recent Paranormal Activity. Well, The Ring is mine. I think it might be one of those things that if I had seen it now I wouldn't have been scared (just like watching Paranormal Activity I didn't find anything frightening but the teens in the theatre were screeching). But seriously, forever I will be haunted by The Ring and I doubt any movie will ever scare me to that degree ever again. Truth be told, I haven't watched it again all the way through from beginning to end since the first time I saw it in theatres (and we even needed a parent to get in back then!). Don't laugh at me. Maybe I'll try to do that this weekend.

Bloodsucking Freaks / The Incredible Torture Show (1976)
Another one of those movies that was a first for me - the first gross ass torture flick I've seen. I rented this on VHS from my local video store (which I miss dearly) and I'm pretty sure the guy that worked there shouldn't have let me rent it considering I was again, in my early teens. This is the first time I saw someone get their fingers cut off. Even now, I'm really sensitive to fingers being removed for some reason (maybe because I play piano? Or I just value my fingers a lot...) so seeing this as a young budding horror fan made me really go WTF?!

August Underground's Mordum (2003)
I don't enjoy torture porn for the sake of torture porn. But this one f'd my soul because... well, it's number one on IGN's Horror blog as "Top 10 Sickest Films" and it's there for a reason. It's a film that makes me question why anybody would ever want to make such a film, but then there I was watching it so I'm almost equally as crazy and f'd up? It's a film that I would never ever suggest to any other human being.

Martyrs (2008)
Lastly, and highest on my list, is Martyrs. I know, some people think the ending is some sort of cop out and trying to be deep and artsy, but well, I buy it. I found it thought provoking and the fact that there's still an active board on IMDB about the meaning of the ending shows that it's worth talking about. Maybe it's because I buy into the entire story that I found this so psychologically damaging, but after I watched this film, I felt EMPTY. I felt hollowed out and so crazy and depressed and all things crazy. It took two weeks before I could stop thinking about it and even now I come back view it every once in a while with no good reason to (because why would anybody WANT to feel like crap). The physical torture the main character goes through isn't gory and isn't even comparable to a million other films out there but it's the psychological battle that she fights that makes it so hard hitting. A very interesting story, mixed in with phenomenal acting from the two leads and a gorgeous soundtrack makes Martyrs the movie that has most f'd up my soul.

Someone save my soul, please.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (2009)

Another movie from the 8 Films to Die For 2010 lineup! With a name like ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction, you just can't pass it up because you HAVE TO see how good or bad it is. With the latest onslaught of zombie comedies, aka zomedies, it's hard to stand out from the crowd.

ZMD is set in Port Gamble, small town USA. Frida, an Iranian-American girl comes home from college and everybody thinks she is Iraqi, much to her confusion. A gay couple, Tom and Lance, come to Port Gamble to tell Tom's mother that he is gay. Unfortunately for Port Gamble, a zombie infection has come upon the town and people are turning left right and centre. The rest of the film plays out as the typical zomedy - funny characters put into funny situations that involve a good amount of gore. Yay for the characters of Tom and Lance though, because most of the laughs fall with the gay couple.

Now I know what you're thinking... Zombies of Mass Destruction... politics... THIS MOVIE HAS A HIDDEN MEANING sort of crap. Thankfully it was handled in a pretty comedic way, although due to the poor acting/over-acting, I found myself rolling my eyes in some parts. Thankfully they don't dwell on it too long, and instead they let the slow zombies (yay slow zombies!) do the eating and attacking. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the pacing of the kills at the beginning of the film - they do it in a way so that you don't/can't see what is coming and who is going to die so we get a good little jump and feel tense throughout because you never really know who is going to get chomped in the neck.

ZMD manages to deliver a few good chuckles and even a few good memorable deaths. It's held back by the over-acting, lack of character development, and the somewhat odd and abrupt ending. I think considering I had a decent/entertaining time watching the film, I'm going to be a bit harsh on it because it's a zomedy... get it spot on and deliver big laughs or don't make them at all. I think watching a mediocre slasher/creature/gore flick is okay but when you find yourself going "heh" and not "hahahaha" it's rather disappointing.

Overall: 5.5/10
Gore meter: 6/10
Scare meter: 5/10
Laugh meter: 5/10

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Descent: Part 2

The Descent: Part 2 (2009)

The question with sequels is (mostly) always... WHY? Why make a Part 2 when Part 1 is too good to be true? I still remember when I saw the trailer for The Descent, I laughed it off thinking, "this looks exactly like The Cave!" but thirty seconds in and I WAS HOOKED. So first things first, if you haven't seen The Descent, run as if a zombie were chasing you (a fast one) and cancel all your plans for the day/afternoon/evening.

Onto Part 2. The plot is as follows: Sarah, our kick ass amazing heroine from the first film, wakes up in a hospital with no recollection of what really happened in the cave. The police are going to send a search team down to look for her missing friends. This right here though, is comedy gold - the Sheriff wants to bring Sarah down with them. Forget the fact that she suffers from vast amounts of post traumatic stress and that she doesn't remember anything (the other officer tells the Sheriff this), he thinks she will be helpful because when she gets down there she'll "have to" remember "something useful"! Good thing for the Sheriff that this is a horror movie, because indeed Sarah remembers how to KICK SOME CREATURE/CRAWLER ASS.

Blood blood gore guts bones blood, yes yes yes! Just like the first film, the crawlers are creepy as hell and the kill scenes are super enjoyable. We get to feel some of the claustrophobia that made the first film so successful. I guess that's what I expected coming into Part 2 - I just wanted to see more crawlers and more gore, so in that respect I'm pretty much satisfied. It was entertaining.

Having said that, the all-female cast and dynamics of the first part just weren't touchable with Part 2. We have a real jerk wad Sheriff here, and the other characters aren't developed so we truly are here only for the gore with no real interest in seeing them escape (except for Sarah, of course). And in terms of the plot, dragging Sarah down in the first place is a joke, and the ending of Part 2 really makes me want to smash my face into a wall. There are rumours that this will be made into a trilogy, based off of the success of the first two, but I'm thinking to myself, HOW? Or rather, WHY? Please stop ruining amazing films with bad sequels.

YES to creepy creatures/crawlers and good kill scenes, NO to bad plot and characters.

Overall: 6.5/10
Gore meter: 7/10
Scare meter: 6/10

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dying Breed

Dying Breed (2009); directed by Jody Dwyer

Instead of studying for exams I decided to take in another movie on a sunny Sunday afternoon. If I can't go outside because I'm supposed to be studying I might as well watch a horror movie. Yeah, I know that logic doesn't make any sense so shush.

Dying Breed was part of the 2009 8 Films to Die For (After Dark Horrorfest) lineup. Which basically means, don't get your hopes up (my overall consensus on the After Dark movies is that they deliver some good moments but no movie has really been amazing). The basic plot is that a group of 4 friends, Nina, her nice boyfriend, her boyfriend's jerk douchebag best friend, and his quiet girlfriend (victim number one!), go on a trip to the Tasmanian forest in search of the Tasmanian Tiger. Nina's sister was the one who started the search but was found drowned in a lake and missing all her teeth a few years back. Because that sounds normal to Nina, and not at all dangerous and creepy, she wants to finish what her sister started. Douchebag guy thinks that if they capture the Tiger they can make a lot of money. Instead, they encounter a cannibalistic group of crazies who are descendants of Alexander "The Pieman" Pearce, an escaped convict back in the 1800s when the island was a maximum security prison for the British. He had to become a cannibal to stay alive, hence his family tree = cannibals. 

So off they go. First stop before the forest - a creepy ass local shack bar filled with creepy ass locals (duh, inbred of course). Basically every character has something happen to them that makes them think, "hmm, something's not right here" but they all ignore it, because then how would we get some of that tasty human meat pie?! We get some character development happening here, and by character development I mean horror movie character stereotype development, Douchebag guy is all i'm-stupid-faux-macho-beat-chu-up, his girlfriend is all i-had-sex-with-douchebag-hence-i'm-going-to-die (hello, don't have sex if you are in a horror film), Nina's boyfriend is all i'm-very-polite-and-nice-but-am-useless-in-most-life-threatening-situations, and Nina is very i-miss-my-dead-sister-i'm-smrt. 

Into the forest they go. More scary things happen. Then the shit hits the fan! Oh, it's too late for you, victim number one. Mmm human.

I do love me some no-thinking-involved horror movies sometimes, chock full of crazy inbreds who love dismembering and eating tourists. Maybe a sunny Sunday afternoon isn't the time for one, but I just didn't feel like Dying Breed brought anything exciting. And by exciting I don't even mean plot - give me a good death scene! For a film that has a gross looking human pie as the poster, it's pretty tame. I didn't once find myself smiling at a good death scene. Yes, I know how crazy that sounds.

The positives. It's not badly paced. The forest they go into is kind of nice (minus the cannibals). The acting isn't bad. Hence, I managed to get through the movie without thinking, "damn, I should study instead of wasting my time with this." The backstory and legend of Alexander Pearce is also pretty neat - the movie only introduces you to it very briefly at the beginning, but when I later read about Pearce I was like "ew, cool!"

Basically, if you are avoiding something you don't want to do (filing taxes, studying, cleaning, etc.) Dying Breed can provide you with some sort of distraction for an hour and a half, just don't expect much. Maybe you should just read about Alexander Pearce instead.

Overall: 5/10
Gore meter: 5/10
Scare meter: 2/10

Dead Set

Dead Set (2008); created by Charlie Brooker

Apparently I'm late on this bandwagon considering this aired in 2008. How did this fall under my radar? Probably because I couldn't really find any news/reviews on the mainstream American horror sites. So I guess I'm not really late on any bandwagon since there isn't much of one to begin with (at least in North America). What a shame, because Dead Set was thoroughly entertaining. 

Dead Set is a 5 part mini-series that originally aired on E4 in the UK. It has now been combined into a DVD set with all 5 episodes (which plays exactly like a movie; I watched all 5 in a row). This is why it's genius: Dead Set is about a zombie outbreak while they are shooting an eviction episode of Big Brother. The majority of the story follows what happens inside the Big Brother house which basically becomes a safe place to stay from the craziness outside. It's genius because we can have over the top characters without it being annoying/stupid because guess what, Big Brother contestants are loopy to begin with. It's also genius because these people are cut off from the outside world to begin with and when they do hear of the news, it's a hilarious scene since they think it's a Big Brother task. And finally, it's genius because it's a great commentary on reality television and pop culture. Have you SEEN the screaming fans for real-life Big Brother? Screaming because of excitement versus screaming because of my-arm-is-being-ripped-off... the contestants in the House can't tell the difference. It's a commentary that doesn't hit you over the head and scream, "I am making a criticism about our modern society!" which too many other horror movies do. Come on, it's a zombie flick - don't take yourself too seriously. Dead Set gets that part just right - it makes you reflect but it doesn't detract from the overall insanity and goriness and fun of a zombie flick.

A few notes: Dead Set doesn't bring anything original to the genre. As I said, the premise of the Big Brother thing is genius, but in terms of the death scenes, scares, zombies, characters, etc... it's all been done. Don't watch this expecting anything revolutionary. In fact, it has a lot of homages to other zombie flicks but I thought that was a nice touch because Dead Set isn't trying to hide the fact that it's been done before. On that note, these zombies are the fast kind. Yeah sure, I like the slow zombies more, but this was the only way to explain why the outbreak occurred so quickly (before they could evacuate the studio). And lastly, how many times did I scream, "WHY ARE YOU SUCH AN IDIOT?" to the screen? Only once! And yes, that's an amazing feat for horror films since most characters do the most ridiculous things.

Do yourself a favour and pick up this UK mini series. It's a great premise for a zombie flick and if you know Andy Nyman (from Severance) it's worth just seeing him playing the most annoying and hilarious character ever. Just look at that 'stache! Don't think that there isn't enough gore just because it aired on TV - not a bad amount. Nothing insane, but a good dose. Excellent acting.

Overall: 8/10
Gore meter: 5/10
Scare meter: 2/10 (it's not going to make you jump much)