Jesus, this movie needs two separate ratings -- one for overall quality and one for WTF-disturbia. "Disturbed" probably is a word that many people have and will continue to use when describing "Deadgirl." Don't watch this with anything resembling a full tummy. I was pretty empty, but by the end of the film (and even the following day), my stomach was ready to dig up anything it could find to puke out -- it's that graphic and maddening.
FYI - This is not a zombie movie. There may be a zombie in it, but that's not the overarching point. This is not a "Watch the zombie terrorize a town by eating people's faces and causing panic" thing. This is a "See how humans react to an 'available' woman in a disturbingly feral and boys'-club way" kind of thing.
The overall story is solid -- lame, misunderstood, bottom-tier high school guys find weird, maybe-dead-maybe-alive woman chained to a table in an abandoned asylum, and very messed-up hijinks ensue. The movie hasn't been screened too widely, even though it's a 2008 film, so I don't want to give too much of it away, but it delves into male-female dynamics, social hierarchy, sex/power addiction, and the always-present moral dillemmas. Moreover, "Deadgirl" explores what is perceived reality and what is pure fantasy, and how do two (ok, three) people who grew up together act differently to the reality/fantasy issue?
"Deadgirl" really was a fascinating story. However, it's a story that I much rather would have read than watched. I went to a midnight showing of this, which to me made it feel all the more surreal. As the film went on, the scenes presented kept getting more revolting, more gritty, more... everything. I had to watch through my hands through much of this. I don't deal well with control/rape/deeply psychological movies anyway, but this one completely jarred my system more than just about any other.
Aside: After the movie, a friend and I watched several episodes of "Family Guy" to get the "Deadgirl" taste out of our mouths. This didn't help tremendously, as I still had horrific dreams that were more disturbing than usual. Even now in the afternoon, I'm having difficulty not seeing "Deadgirl" in my head, and I feel quite unsettled.
So yeah, "Deadgirl" was a horror movie; just not in the way one usually expects.
The writing generally was good. Like I said, the story itself is intriguing, and the character study was well done. Friendship, betrayal, unrequited love and fatalism all are explored to great degree. However, there are a few cheesy lines and scenes that seemed thrown in for "Har-dee-har-har" factor and didn't advance the movie -- in fact, those useless pieces took me out of it, a bit. In addition, there are a few scenes that I (and obviously people around me) thought "Wait, there's just NO WAY that would ever happen. NO ONE IS THAT DUMB." I don't think the writers meant for those elements to unfold in a B-movie way; I think they just didn't think them through OR they just really wanted those scenes come hell or high water.
All in all, it was a good movie, a good departure from the usual horror stuff, and something to talk about and occupy the mind long after the credits roll. That's also the problem, though -- sleep can be hard to come by after watching "Deadgirl."