The Dead - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Dead Reviews

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½ June 23, 2013
An intelligent zombie movie with a good plot, good characters and good acting. The only silly thing in my mind is that even though it's set in the African wilderness, there always seems to be tons of zombies no matter where the main characters go.
June 2, 2013
I'm not much into zombie films but they seem to be everywhere (woop woop) so I only watch those that differ in any way from the pack. This indie was shot entirely in Africa, so there.
The directors use the continent's vast, awe-inspiring landscapes to great effect, turning this nicely into a sort of a road-movie. Camera work is great and so is the sound. Pace is a winner, alternating from limb-ripping carnage to sun-drenched hopelessness, with just a few bumps when the cliches make their inevitable appearance. These and the mostly weak casting are just about the only flaws.
The big stars are the zombies themselves - slow-moving (until they get too close), silent (until they get too close) and ever-present. Very old school.
It all adds up to a deliciously tense viewing with assorted buckets of blood.
Apparently, this was a pain to make. Thankfully, genre fans bought it in sufficient quantities to make it all worthwhile. If you are a horror fan, you should too.
May 3, 2013
Very drawn out and boring! Yes, the African landscape is beautiful, but that doesn't help here!
½ February 25, 2013
Lacking in emotion and dialogue. Upon hearing he has no family or country to return to, Lt. Murphy does not cry or respond in any normal way. The zombies were too clean. That's an hour and 45 minutes I'll never get back.
½ January 21, 2013
The Slowest zombies you've ever seen try to make mince meat out of an african soldier and an american soldier in a drawn out, boring, poorly acted film.
½ January 20, 2013
This movie is well made with nice scenery and good actors in a new type of zombie movie. Unfortunately, this movie bores you to sleep. If your looking for a lot of zombie gore and a fast paced plot, this movie is definitely not for you.
November 29, 2012
Un film de zombies très original qui apporte un peu de fraicheur dans ce genre saturé. La mise en scène met très bien en valeur le fait que les zombies sont partout...une invasion implacable et permanente sans répit.
½ October 26, 2012
Einer der besten, härtesten und ernstesten Zombiefilme seit Jahren, absolut groÃartig!
October 24, 2012
Zombie Apocalypse fset in Africa..while the location has changed the plot is the same...thankfully this is a character driven movie rather than your typical undead one.You really start to care about these two men from different countries yet both have the same goal in mind make their way through waves of Zombies and get back to their loved ones.
½ October 20, 2012
Slowest zombies ever. The zombie was about 20 feet from the main character while he was changing a tire, he changed the tire and got into the car before the zombie got to him. It took about 30 seconds movie time for a zombie to turn around. About half way through the movie I lost interest, I figured the only way the zombies would catch you is if you fell asleep. It got so bad I was rooting for the zombies just to end the movie, I realized that was not going to happen so I started doing other things while the movie played. This for me was the final straw in the slow zombie genre. This movie was not only boring but I felt no horror because the zombies was so damn slow.
September 12, 2012
Ok folks, I'm going to go out on a limb here and be one of the few who doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. The Dead may be grounded in old school zombie movies, but that doesn't make it any less boring or trite. I literally almost fell asleep on this one and I just don't get the near universal praise that it seems to be receiving everywhere. I was expecting something at least halfway decent, but what I found instead was a movie with boring actors and a run-of-the-mill story. The horror effects are good but the suspense is lacking, and I think a lot of that has to do with the genre just being so bloated that it can't sustain anything else. Along with vampires and demon possession movies, it's time to lay this genre of movies to bed.
August 4, 2012
All the emotional stuff didn't get to me, but it looks amazing. The special effects were probably best I've seen.
July 23, 2012
I like it. I enjoy the futility of it all. The desolation of the landscape. The hopelessness that is never really captured or portrayed in the majority of zombie movies!
July 19, 2012
Rather excellent Zombie movie that right from moment one tells you they are taking this seriously and are going to tell you a story in this world you'll care about. In a world of low concept, low budget undead flicks The Dead is a shining light of what can be done with good characters and a simple tale told well. Outstanding movie.
July 11, 2012
Seemingly an evolution in zombie flicks.
June 29, 2012
Beyond the unique African backdrop and refreshingly oldschool zombies it's entirely run of the mill. It's a solid effort but it fails to go beyond the call of duty.
½ June 16, 2012
Ok I bought this movie and I was not disapointed. It was mostly about 2 guys from totally different worlds trying to get out of a zombie infested zone in Africa. Not too many curve balls in this one if you like zombie movies and I liked this one for sure. Good addition to my zombie collection.
June 15, 2012
Novel idea of setting a zombie film in war torn east Africa. I was pretty excited to see this movie, but it ended up being a mixed bag. There's plenty of gory zombie action, it's well photographed and the zombies are my preferred slow moving zombies, but the acting is pretty wooden, the story is a not all that interesting road movie and worst of al there really weren't any scares, suspense or that oppressive everything-is-breaking-down feeling you get in the Romero dead films. It's certainly worth watching for zombie film fans, but it's far from a classic.
Ryan M
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2012
*** out of ****

"The Dead" possesses all the bare essentials of a zombie movie. That shouldn't be enough for it to succeed, yet here we are; with a respectable and well-made horror film with part-time elements of a road movie. Howard and Jonathan Ford (credited as The Ford Brothers) direct this familiar and not-so-original but nevertheless exciting take on the genre of the undead, demonstrating that they can uphold the task of making a few movies in one. Their film would not have been as good as it is without the desire to dabble in all sorts of different things. When it comes to succeeding in those things, it does not always work; but the fact that it tried and failed to truly embarrass itself proves that it's a worthy edition to the genre, which has grown so tired over the years that even George Romero - the man who re-invented it some time ago - has been shelling out disappointment after disappointment. The Ford Brothers take his signature slow zombies and do something interesting - although not necessarily new - with them.

A military plane crashes somewhere in the oceans of Africa. Lt. Brian Murphy (Rob Freeman) is able to make it to the nearest beach by morning, already aware of what will be waiting for him upon arrival. While in the plane, we saw another human who was severely wounded come back to life and bite another man on the hand, ripping his very flesh from the bone. It would appear that the dead are returning to life, hungry for human flesh, just as they have in some other 1000+ films. The lieutenant held on to a crate that contained guns and ammunition throughout his trip from the water to the shore, and he uses these tools to defend himself until he can find other forms of civilization. He comes across a village, where one of the other establishing scenes takes place. The zombies, as slow as they are, can still cause a lot of havoc; we see fires, dead bodies everywhere, and people getting bitten in spite of their ability to run faster than these...things.

While exploring the abandoned village, the Lieutenant finds another survivor; an African soldier named Daniel (Prince David Osei), who is searching for his son (who could have either died or escaped at this point). They team up so that they may survive using their collective weapons and ammunition, although the places they go are always swarming with the undead, and those who are alive are nowhere to be found. But, as can be expected, the more they search, the more they find. Eventually they'll have to run into others who have been just as fortunate - if not more, or less - as they are. You can see where the plot is going from a mile away. But what wasn't ingeniously designed plot-wise was translated to mood and a spectacularly high body count of zombies. And that's exactly what horror fans want.

A lot of the film was shot in Burkina Faso, and already we come to what is perhaps the film's one truly unique and distinctive feature. One of the brothers - Jon - was the cinematographer and did an excellent job filling in that role. "The Dead" was shot, to my knowledge, on 35mm film and mostly on-location; so the sense of realism is 100% there. The scenery is beautiful even though horrible, violent things happen in the wilderness surrounding the worthwhile sights, and the film pays a lot of attention to the heat and the sand, perhaps hoping to establish a sort of post-apocalyptic aesthetic. The Brothers could have made an attempt to render their film a zombie part-time Western flick, although they don't seem to have big ideas or intentions. They are building upon things that have already been laid out and set in stone, but what they do with these things is what counts. You've got a movie that essentials looks and feels really good, with two solid central performances and an abundance of gore to please the blood-hounds in the audience. Maybe it's just me, but I found it all to be kind of badass.

The Ford Brothers never lose sight of the human story that is at the center of their film, even if it could have used a little more seasoning and development. The two main characters roam around on their own for a little bit before meeting up, but once they do, there's some real chemistry; even if it's mostly discreet. Don't expect many humorous scenes between the two, as this is one of those dead serious zombie flicks, but what you should expect is that they will make a good team; which they kind of do. If they are to part ways, they do not hope to know one another ever again. They treat kicking zombie ass like a business; not a partnership. They are not friends, nor really acquaintances; just people in a wasteland full of the mentally inhuman. This may not be enough "depth" to satisfy those viewers in search of deeper meaning and philosophy, and the film might work best with the hardcore zombie fanatics exclusively; but "The Dead" will someday find an audience that respects and enjoys it as much as I did, and it will deserve those people about as much as they deserve it.
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