White Zombie is a horror film that was produced and directed in 1932 by Hugo Halperin and Victor Halpwrin respectively. The story is about a young woman who changed into a zombie while in the hands of a wicked master. Murder Legendre (real name is Bela Lugosi) stars in the movie as the antagonist and Madge Bellamy as a victim. Other people in the film are Joseph Cawthom, Robert W. Frazer, and John Harron. Large portions of the film are borrowed from other horror films of those days. The film received negative reception in New York when it was first opened with many reviewers challenging its weak acting performance. It is important to note that White Zombie’s modern reception is more positive than that when it was originally released with some reviewers praising the atmosphere in which the film is acted. However, other critics still maintain that the quality of acting in the film is weak. Below, there is my response to the film.
In my opinion, White Zombie is certainly one of the best horror movies of its time though it does not measure up to the standards of such films as Frankenstein or Dracula. People who love horror movies/ pictures will, however, enjoy it since it is hilarious. The atmosphere of acting is also very good. It is vital to point out that Bela Lugosi acts very impressively making the film and pictures worth watching. However, in the process of earnestly attempting to be thrilling through the exaggerated treatment of the victim, the film instead attains a reverse effect to excitement; the plot becomes ridiculous. Thus, in my opinion, the film might well suit the less sophisticated audience who has no problem with watching even weak performances as depicted in the movie, so long as they enjoy it. In general, White Zombie is a hilarious horror film depicting courage. It is worth admiring but lacks sophistication and strong performance. I would not recommend this movie to anyone.
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George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead
Night of the Living Dead is a horror film that was written in 1968 and directed by George A. Romero. It stars people like Duane Jones, Karl Hardman, and Judith O'Dea. The film’s plot follows Ben Huss and Barbra as well as five other cast members being trapped inside a countryside farmhouse located in Pennsylvania as the residence is attacked by ghouls (living dead monsters). It is vital to mention that the unpolished sound, handheld cameras, harsh lighting as well as professional actors used in the film give it a documentary feel, thus making the terror real and more felt by the audience. Another key innovation in the film that is worth noting is the transfer of the monsters from a distant land to Americans’ backyards. The monsters become a part of the everyday life of people. In addition, there is almost no overall romantic distraction, comic relief, and scientific exposition in the film, which adds to the tension and horror in the film.
Another thing that I found appealing in the film is Romero’s use of the zombies as metaphors. Vietnamese soldiers, which have been enemies of America since time immemorial have constantly been depicted as relentless, blood-thirsty, and brutal-killing machines, and the zombies in the movie portray this image. In fact, nearly the whole film has clever metaphors incorporated in it to portray the challenges Americans were facing at the time the movie was produced such as the Vietnam War. In addition, political satire and ideological undertones are found at every turn of the film adding to the relevance of the film in the present. This film is one of the most terrifying movies I have ever watched; the movie went from being scary almost halfway to becoming suddenly terrifying that made me so frozen and silent that I wished it ended fast so that I could forget the horrible experience.
Dan O’Bannon’s Return of the Living Dead
Return of the Living Dead is an American horror and comedy film produced in 1985 and directed by Dan O’ Bannon. The film features people like Don Calfa, Clu Gulager, and James Karen. It tells the story of a group of men and teenagers who cope with the unplanned release of a multitude of brain-hungry zombies in an unsuspecting town. This film is famous for introducing the concept of zombies that eat brains rather than those that eat only human flesh. It is worth to note the combination of exceedingly solid fright gags, the razor-sharp script, and the fantastic comedy incorporated in the film, which makes it a timeless classic. In addition, the incorporation of punk rockers and notorious outcasts into the film adds to its quality, timelessness, and meaning. The film’s groundbreaking incorporation of the punk subculture gives it an authentic feeling making the audience want to watch it repeatedly. It also has an incredible soundtrack coupled with a pleasant group of protagonists giving the movie a vitality that holds in the present day. The tension in the film is amped up by the astonishing chemistry exhibited by its dedicated cast, which is better exemplified by the unlikely duo of Frank, the foreman of Uneeda Medical Supply Warehouse and Freddy. These characters, just to mention a few, make Return of the Living Dead among the most convincing debuts within the genre history.
The comedic deliveries of actors such as Karen, Gulager, and Mathews in the early stages of the film coupled with the various breathtaking scenes, which threaten to explode any minute, in a panicked melodrama, makes this film simply wonderful. The show of cohesion in front of and behind the camera that seems relentless adds to the meaning of the film. In conclusion, The Return of the Living Dead is a timeless horror and comedy movie that will forever remain fresh and relevant to be watched by the current and even future generations. I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with interest in comedy and horror movies.
Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later
28 Days Later is a British horror movie produced in 2002 and directed by Danny Boyle. The film stars are Naomie Harris, Cillian Murphy, Megan Burns, and Brendan Gleeson among others. The movie opens with a small number of insane militant liberals forcing their entry into a lab for animal testing that is full of screaming monkeys. The monkeys are infected with rage, and we see one of them biting a militant liberal who consequently spits blood and turns into a zombie. Twenty eight days later, the virus manages to wipe almost the entire British Isle, with only a small number of strugglers left among the ruins.
The plot represents a societal breakdown after an accidental release of an extremely contagious virus. It focuses on the struggle of four of the survivors that escaped the deadly rage virus which swept the nation, the riots and damage that ensued later as well as the team of the infected victims that wander at night looking for human flesh. They take a trip to Manchester hoping to find an army base that can rescue them. This film has its own merits and disadvantages. For instance, the long silence in between the bursts of violence permits the viewer to empathize with the characters in the film. Moreover, the film has a good script, in addition to the mix of comedy, drama, and romance that makes it worth watching and relating to. I would say that the use of digital video in the film worked against the overall meaning. This is because some action sequences turned into abstract blurs making it impossible to know what is happening. In general, this is a great movie that I would recommend to anyone who loves watching zombie movies
Marcel Sarmiento’s Deadgirl
Deadgirl is a 2008 horror film written by Trent Haaga and directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel. It stars Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez), J.T. (Noah Segan), Clint (Michael Bowen), JoAnn (Candice Accola) and Wheeeler (Eric Podnar) among others. The movie is about two high school boys (Rickie and JT) who find a deceased young woman in the basement of a deserted insane asylum. However, they realize that she is not really dead, but, at the same time, not alive enough to make an escape. This makes them turn her into a sex slave. One thing I noted about the film is the manner in which the directors refrain from showing much detail to the audience. For instance, in the first half of the movie, the majority of the acts of the dead girl takes place completely off camera. Most of the rape’s graphic aspects are hidden from the public view. In my opinion, this puts the viewer in a rather uncomfortable and unpleasant position where the audience is forced to imagine what happens in those episodes which are not shown to them. This makes the film less gratifying when compared to other films such as Hostel (2005) by Eli Roth. In addition, the remaining part of the movie that is shown is so uncomfortable, brutal, and disgusting that I would not wish to repeat watching in the near future.
One thing that makes this movie compelling is its story that is unexpected and unique making it refreshing and original. The film can be said to be both pretty good and bad at the same time. There is not adequate sex to compare it to films such as Specie, or adequate gore to make it comparable to Sa, what thus makes it distinct. In conclusion, this film is horrific and disgusting, and I would not recommend it to people who fear horror films.
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