Thursday, May 17, 2012

Decendents (2008)

Part of the problem I have with most of today's zombie movies is the fact that they don't try anything new. I've seen so many "Zombie breakout occurs" and "Life in the zombie apocalypse" movies that I feel as if I've seen them all. I haven't (that's borderline impossible) but dammit, it oftentimes feels like it. So, that's why it's interesting to see a movie like "Descendents" (in know way related to the George Clooney movie, and is the first horror movie from Chile), which actually does try something differently, even if the end product doesn't quite work out.

In the future, man has pretty much destroyed mother earth, and in the process polluted the air with a virus that turns people into flesh hungry zombies. There are survivors though. Among them is Camille (Camille Lynch), a nine year old girl who along with other children, seems to be immune from the virus, and therefore zombie proof. There's still danger however in the military, whom seem to be as intent in killing the kids as they are the living dead.

As I said, the film does deserve a few kudos for trying something differently. Here, that something is making a child the main character. Apart from "28 Weeks Later", there haven't been any zombie movies done from the point of view of a kid, and to see a movie try to do that is a pretty unique spin on the zombie movie. Also, for a movie done with a tiny budget (about $60,000), the cinematography and most of the effects look great.

That's where the good parts end though. While it's refreshing to see a different spin on the apocalyptic zombie tale, much of the movie feels like yet another part of that genre. The zombies are your typical running infected, the military is up to no good, and all the modern traits (fast and slow editing motion, hyper editing) that you find in your typical contemporary zombie movie. Also, while you feel for Camille, she doesn't have much dialogue outside of constant narration, making her ordeal a bit uneven. Add to a bad twist ending and the fact that the DVD doesn't come with it's original native language makes for a not so worthwhile viewing experience.

It's a shame too, because I kind of wanted to like this movie more. It mostly looks good for such a low budget film, and it has such a novel concept that you want it to succeed. Chalk it up as a noble failure.

Rating: 3.5/10

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