Friday, October 16, 2015
Directed By: Jonathan Milott & Cary Murnion
Written By: Leigh Whannell & Ian Brennan
Story By: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan & Josh C.Waller
Cinematography By: Lyle Vincent
Editor: Brett W. Bachman
Cast: Elijah Wood, Alison Pill, Leigh Whanell, Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia, Kate Flannery, Ian Brennan
*Please note that some trivia and facts have been republished from imdb among other sources In this review
A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
I really wanted to like this film. I was looking forward to it. Though he film ultimately is disappointing. I can see it having it's fans.
The film has an interesting idea and i stead of making it something fun and different. It ends up eventually playing the material in a more typical way that just ends up making it feel like a carbon copy with some different colors.
It doesn't help that the film seems mean spirited from the get go. As the characters you don't want to see die, but they also don't endear themselves to the audience. Which might be the reason the film keeps you on your toes as to who perishes and who survives. You expect them to perish at any moment. Yet some do some don't. Not to root for any of them in particular to meet their maker. Even the few parents we see who come into the picture seen more vapid and self absorbed rather then pay attention to their children or anyone else.
The film seems to get off on the zombies being kids and showing shocking and extreme scene of violence against them or caused by them. Which works only as it is different as you would think of them as the least likely. Thought there have been films to exploit that type of story. WHO CAN KILL A CHILD, BLOODY BIRTHDAY. They have also been done better.
What kind of saves the film is it's sense of humor. It has it's moments of horror, but relies more on comedy. It does have it's shocking moments of gore and graphic violence. Typical of a film like this, but not typical when half the cast is made up of actual young children.
The all star of the film is Rainn Wilson as the gym teacher. Who comes off as a dumber less like able version of Bruce Campbell's ash form the evil dead films. Though here whenever he is on screen the film feel fun.
The recognizable cast does what they can and get moments to shine. To be a little more of the simple characterizations they are originally introduced as.
The film gets better as it goes along. Yet it never gets to the level where it is entirely enjoyable and fulfill it's promise.
Though it tries to buck the system and offer up different central characters. Like the wanna-be writer coming back to his hometown defeated by the big city. Only here it is the same but his writing is horrible. The stoner crossing guard who disappears for most of the film. Then ends up being part of the rescue mission.
Leigh Whanell's science teacher who has personality problems, but ends up being the one to figure things out. If only he can get over his personal problems to Save the day.
As I said the film has all this on it's side. Yet it still manages to come off as bland. It has a sense of humor about itself, but doesn't let it run wild. Like a movie like SLITHER did. Which made that film more distinct then anything similar. The good thing about this movie is that the action and premise kick in pretty quickly. Long enough for us to get to know the character types we will be dealing with and set up their relationships. Which thankfully aren't too deep.
As if they were to spend more time on that section of the film. You would be thankful for the action. As there isn't too much in that section for us to really learn or keep us too invested. Especially when the audience knows what is going to come eventually.
It's not a total complete waste of time. The film feels so close to being good, yet falters before the finish line.