With the first week of 2018 nearly in the books, it’s time to start evaluating this year’s new horror releases. While I didn’t make it to the theater to see Insidious: The Last Key, I was able to watch the newly released Day of the Dead: Bloodline. While I’m not into most of the horror remakes/reimaginings that have come out over the last few years, a bloody trailer had me at least a little excited to give this movie a shot.
Day of the Dead: Bloodline (directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens) is described as “a bold new reimagining of the George A. Romero classic.” It follows a group of medical professionals and military personnel who are camping out in an underground bunker during the zombie apocalypse. Zoe Parker (played by the beautiful Sophie Skelton) is able to capture a zombie who seems to show some faint signs of intelligence and will (with whom she had a connection prior to his death). She believes this zombie, Max (played by Johnathan Shaech), can help lead her to a vaccine to prevent the spread of the plague. Zoe, her boyfriend Baca (Marcus Vanco), and a team of cohorts try and accomplish this under the watchful eye of the man in charge, Lieutenant Miguel Salazar (Jeff Gum). Will Zoe and her team be able to finish their vaccine in time before all hell breaks loose, or will it all be for naught as the undead overrun the bunker?
Far and away the best part of the movie for me was the insane practical effects. In a world full of CGI horrors, it is refreshing to see that there are companies out there willing to take the time and effort to create these gore-soaked wonders. Scenes of ferocious entrail feasting and violent disembowelment are right up my alley. While the movie isn’t completely devoid of CGI effects, these effects were infrequent and done well. The zombies themselves were also a big hit with me. Some of them did run, but these zombies definitely seemed more akin to the kind Romero used in his series. Seeing the lead singer from The Oneders (That Thing You Do) as a zombie was interesting as well.
One unfortunate thing about this film was the quality of acting. I am not usually someone who harps on the acting in movies, and I typically don’t let bad acting ruin a movie for me, but there were some characters that were particularly bad. Some cheesy writing didn’t help their cause either. There was also some noticeable plot holes and illogical behaviour coming from the characters, given the circumstances. It seems in many instances the characters chose to act in the most inconvenient way possible.
Like many of these remakes, there is some good and some bad with this flick. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good for me. While I don’t think the film is necessarily a waste of time, it isn’t one I’m going to recommend you rent right away. This $8 million film doesn’t come falls short of the $3.5 million original in every way. The gore effects were great, but not enough to save the subpar acting and poor writing.