Devil's Playground

Devil's Playground

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Devil's Playground Reviews

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Beefy Beefy
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2011
In a genre as potentially played out as zombie films, you can't afford to be derivative or dull. And yet this was both. Not awful, but not much else.
Dr Blood  
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2010
Call me shallow but the only reason I wanted to watch "Devil's Playground" was because I saw a picture of Jaime Murray on the IMDb and wanted to see more of her. She's been in quite a few horror genre films including "Botched" (2007) and "The Deaths of Ian Stone" (2007) but I think most people would know her from the "Warehouse 13" TV series. Unfortunately, she was very underused in this and I still didn't get to see her naked.
Anyway, "Devil's Playground" is yet another apocalyptic virus/zombie movie with a huge amount of similarities to everything in the same subgenre from "28 Days Later" onwards. It's British and set in London with lots of fast running not-really-zombies who jump up walls and through open windows every chance they get.
The zombies are the only things that are fast about "Devil's Playground" as the pacing is ridiculously slow. Everything feels like an episode of "Torchwood" but with no comedic aspects whatsoever apart from the cast of Mockneys all being unable to pronounce any words with "th" or "ing" in them. The usual suspects are all here including Danny Dyer, Craig Fairbrass and Sean Pertwee all posturing, dropping their aitches and saying, "Nuffin'" and "Summink" every couple of lines just to show how "London" they all are. Apart from all the gratuitous swearing, gore and violence, it could have been a Hallowe'en special of "The Bill".
I didn't hate it any of it particularly except that it was the same old stuff that I've seen hundreds of times before but with different people. As a longtime consumer of Monster energy drinks it did amuse me slightly that the virus that mutates people into zombies was, in this case, caused by an energy supplement injection.
As you can expect, the plot consists of a group of survivors trying to keep out of the way of the zombies but with some of them getting infected along the way. Of course, they go through lots of bouts of fighting among themselves too and there are the obligatory, and clichéd, suicides/self-sacrifices just to give them even more to woodenly act their way through.
MyAnna Buring from "Lesbian Vampire Killers" plays the lead female role of Angela who just happens to be immune to the virus and carries the antidote in her bloodstream. You may also remember her from "The Descent" (2005) but maybe not as she has no screen presence whatsoever. Bearing that in mind, it's no wonder that she is rumoured to be playing the part of Tanya in the the next installment of the Twilight Saga. I suppose she's pretty enough if you like blondes but I prefer brunettes so I didn't care about her character in "Devil's Playground" at all.
Mockney staple Danny Dyer has a backstory as a policeman who just got out of prison for shooting a kid and has all the guilt associated it but who cares? I used to like Danny Dyer as an actor and he's still good but, honestly, he's not action hero material and I wish he'd do better films than this. Maybe he'll be good in the remake of "The Asphyx" coming next year but I doubt it.
The biggest role goes to the biggest (at least the tallest) actor in this, Craig Fairbrass, who always looks the part but hasn't really developed much as an actor since he was in "Eastenders". He seems to always be typecast as either a hard man or a soldier (or both) and it isn't doing him any favours even if it does pay his bills. His action scenes range from unintentionally comical to downright brutal but, without giving too much away, the chainsaw-wielding ending which I was hoping for didn't happen. He used to be a lot more charismatic but he's still no leading man material either. I just didn't warm to his character at all and the motivation behind his actions was questionable to say the least.
It's not that any of the actors should have lacked chemistry because they all seem to live in each other's pockets with all the projects they are involved in together but they just did such horribly routine performances here that I really don't want to see any of them in anything ever again. Some people might argue that horror films don't need strong characterisation but I disagree with that entirely especially when it comes to groups of zombie survivors who you are supposed to feel something for.
I'm not sure if it was the low-budget ($3,000,000!!!) or just inept filmmaking but "Devil's Playground" really dragged for me. At just over an hour and a half long it felt more like three hours in spite of some quite good action scenes. Like I said, I didn't totally hate it but there was just nothing new or inventive here and I got a bit bored waiting for the formulas to work themselves out.
Somebody left me a comment recently telling me that if I'm that bored with zombie movies then maybe I shouldn't watch any more of them. The trouble is that if there's nothing else available in the horror genre to watch then I still have to watch them, don't I? I don't regret seeing "Devil's Playground" but it could have been a lot better. Fans of "28 Days Later" and "28 Weeks Later" will undoubtedly love it.
Stuart B
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2010
Its not bad but its certainly not nearly as good as 28 days later. Biggest gimmick is the facts the zombies/infected are played by freerunners.
Adam M
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2012
Cool zombie flick. When a new performance enhancing drug is tested on thousands of people and it has a bad reaction on nearly every tester, Britain(and probably the world) is at risk from zombie bastards! There was one tester who had no reaction, Angela, and she clearly needs to be saved and looked after. Enter an ex-miltary/security/hitman dude, along with a few hangers on, and there battling to get away from the zombies. Thanks to the decent cast and more athletic than usual zombies, Devil's Playground actually feels more realistic than alot of the throw away zombie flicks that have been coming out constantly for the past 10 years. Its a simple idea, maybe not the most original, done well.
John2223 John2223
Super Reviewer
October 16, 2010
"Devil's Playground" has the same basic concept of "28 Days Later"; fast-moving infected and a group of individuals trying to escape the horror, fighting amongst themselves on the way. The stunt sequences are well done and the movie is nicely shot, with some fantastic views of London on display BUT the characters are melodramatic clichés that ruin the pace of the movie here and there.
Not a bad addiction to the infected genre.
Bill B ½ October 5, 2014
A rather average take on the idea of the zombie apocalypse, something I rented because I kind of don't hate Danny Dyer as much as the rest of the world seems to, and I doubt I;d return to it again.

Rental? Maybe?
Al M ½ May 29, 2012
Somewhat derivative of 28 Days Later, Devil's Playground is another British zombie film featuring a drug that creates an army of fast-moving zombies. Despite its not being totally original, I thoroughly enjoyed Devil's Playground, which is saying something considering how tired I have become of zombie fare in recent years. Featuring solid character development, competent direction, and decent zombie action, Devil's Playground never really does anything new but it achieves it does what it does rather well.
Joe J ½ May 17, 2012
A corporation has invented a new type of drug, and tests it on 30,000 test subjects in London. One month later, 29,999 of them have become infected with a disease that turns them into mindless zombies - but zombies that can run super fast and are agile and strong.

Only one test subject - Angela Mills (MyAnna Buring) - shows no symptoms of the virus. Cole (Craig Fairbrass), the company's strongarm, is sent to retrieve her and find out why the virus hasn't affected her - and he's running out of time, because he's been infected as well.

Meanwhile, Angela and her friends are heading for a helicopter to meet with her brother Matt (Bart Ruspoli) and escape the city. They meet up with Cole, and as it is with every zombie movie, we're treated to how people react to one another in a very stressful situation as they try to survive and make it out of London.

I love zombie flicks, but I've seen some horrible ones. This one isn't one of them. The characters are well-developed and more than just one-dimension, the storyline (although it has connections to "Resident Evil") is engaging, and the zombies are cool. Watching how the survivors turn on one another was entertaining because you actually grow to either love or hate the characters based on their actions. A great low-budget zombie flick all around.
DJ J ½ December 14, 2010
This movie is very aggravating to watch, seriously. The audio is chalk board screeching irritating. In addition to that, stuff just happens to make this movie seem so unrealistic, but for some strange reason, I kept watching it. I didn't enjoy it though.
Frances H July 14, 2013
I liked this British addition to the zombie genre, especially since the ending had hope for the future, which is unusual for such films, and there was more than usual in the way of character development, too.
Eve A June 25, 2013
TERRIBLE!!! The concept has been done and done and done. This would be a good film if it had some sort of originality but since it's trying to be Resident Evil meets Walking Dead in London...it's just lame. :(
Devon B ½ September 16, 2012
One of the better zombie movies.
Carlton M Raines Carlton M Raines September 7, 2012
Craig Fairbrass and Danny Dyer are exellent in this gripping Zombie thriller, very enjoyable, and not a dull moment, exellent
Steven M August 16, 2012
A British zombie movie very much in the tradition of "28 Days Later" and "28 Weeks Later", "Devil's Playground" is unabashedly derivative of those films. But if you enjoyed them (and I did) you'll find it more than satisfactory.
FilmGrinder S. FilmGrinder S. ½ August 2, 2012
79%

This is what RESIDENT EVIL-APOCALYPSE should have been.
Robert B July 5, 2012
Devil's Playground (Mark McQueen, 2010)

Devil's Playground, the debut feature from director Mark McQueen (The Only Way Is Essex and scriptwriter Bart Ruspoli (you may remember him in front of the camera in Band of Brothers) is unapologetic 28 Days Later... fanfic that, let's face it, is probably only worth watching if you're a fan of one or more of the principals. The thing is, I can't imagine anyone not being a fan of at least one of the principals, a number of whom have made their mark in both British and American movies and television over the past decade: Danny Dyer (Doghouse), Colin Salmon (Resident Evil, MyAnna Buring (The Descent), Sean Pertwee (Event Horizon), Jaime Murray (Dexter), Craig Fairbrass (Prime Suspect 2)... the list goes on. It's fun, it's predictable, it's well-acted (though as a number of reviews have noted, the actors are doing they best they can with a watery script), it's a pretty much perfect piece of turn-your-brain-off entertainment.

Which would normally be everything I have to say about this movie, but I want to point out one interesting thing that may have affected my judgment (other than my being an unapologetic Danny Dyer fanboy). I've read a number of comments on the film that mention parkour. I didn't even notice, in the same way I didn't notice the bullet-time sequences in The Matrix until it was pointed out to me a couple of years later that this was, in fact, A Thing. Unlike The Matrix's bullet-time, which seems to have made a lot of people say âwow, that's coolâ? to a movie with an utterly generic script and lackluster-at-best acting, Devil's Playground's parkour seems to have garnered the opposite reaction. And unfortunately, my mentioning it means that if you now go off and watch the movie you're not going to be able to not notice it. But at least you'll be prepared. In any case, just turn your brain off and have fun with it. ***
Kate M June 10, 2012
Not a bad zombie movie.
Darren Camponi Darren Camponi May 21, 2012
Danny Dyer stars in yet another British low-budget horror movie and this time, he's fighting against a country of zombies. However, these zombies aren't your ordinary slow-walking zombies, they're free-running zombies. So Devil's Playground is basically 28 Days Later with elements of Resident Evil and parkour zombies taking over with Danny Dyer being one of the lead survivors. The survivors have to find a way out of London to a safe place before they die from the clutches of impressive wall-jumping zombies. A question that pops into my head straight away is why can the zombies dive through open car windows without touching the sides and jump from wall-to-wall with style but yet they can't get through a simple door? I know it's a movie and I'm not supposed to take it so seriously but it's still something that left me asking that question. Anyway, Devil's Playground is actually surprisingly decent with an average storyline and a few impressive scenes. The story isn't very strong however there are a couple of decent parts in the movie in which all of them involve zombies eating people and killing annoying characters. The characters in Devil's Playground aren't written brilliantly at all as you weren't bothered whether the characters lived or died. You wanted the zombies to eat their mouths first to stop the bad dialogue all through the movie. There's also a couple of characters in the movie who are policemen and it felt like they were placed there randomly even though we eventually find out who they are.

Devil's Playground may have an awful script and some bad writing but the performances were mediocre. The actors in the movie include Jaime Murray, Craig Fairbrass and Danny Dyer. Jaime Murray gives out a decent performance, as does the other cast including Craig Fairbrass, he's better in Devil's Playground than he ever was in Dead Cert but the one thing that shocked me about Devil's Playground was Danny Dyer, he was actually surprisingly good. His character's personality is the same as Danny Dyer's (as always) so it wasn't too hard but there were a couple of times when Danny's character had some emotional scenes and I thought he played them rather well. Now, while everything else about the movie isn't really very good, there's some positivity in form of the action scenes and, of course, the zombies. Devil's Playground has had some good action scenes involving chasing and fighting and I would have to take my hat off to whoever thought of adding the parkour zombies as to me, that is a stroke of genius to use in a zombie movie. It makes them a little more scarier now that there's certain things that can not slow them down and there were some impressive, slick moves and I wouldn't mind seeing more zombies like that in future horror movies. Even though the idea of free-running zombies is quite a scary thought (well, it is to me anyway) and a great idea to use in a movie, Devil's Playground isn't a scary movie. It's more of a violent thriller than a horror as there's nothing to scare you or make you jump or make you feel insecure but there's just the idea of faster zombies.

Just like 28 Days Later and other zombie movies, Devil's Playground doesn't offer us anything new and it's all been done before but with a twist. Is the twist worth getting the movie? Not really, as the story is mediocre, the characters are annoying and the dialogue is close to awful. The only good things are the action scenes, which I have seen better in other zombie movies, and the zombies, which is a great idea. Basically, if you've seen 28 Days Later or Resident Evil, imagine those two mixed together but with Danny Dyer in it and you get Devil's Playground.
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