(*homocinematically inclined)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Dearest Review: The Dead Zone


If you, like me, have long-since grown tired of all the never-ending shenanigans on The Walking Dead but still hold out hope for a decent zombie flick, then thank god for Netflix, for they are now streaming an awesome import that seems to have been tailor made for the phrase “roller coaster ride”.

A monster hit in its native South Korea, Train to Busan places you on its titular transport just as some kind of viral outbreak takes over the country, turning the recently dead into herky-jerky reanimated corpses with a helluva hankering for fresh flesh. Populated with your typical disaster movie cast of characters, director Yeon Sang-ho still has you rooting for the good guys to make it even as he continually places them into increasingly perilous (yet creatively fresh) action set pieces.

While Train to Busan may be the best zombie apocalypse movie you’ve seen in a long time, less successful is the intriguingly premised yet ultimately disappointing The Girl with All the Gifts. This recent Blu-ray/DVD release takes place in a world gutted by a mysterious fungal infection that (what do you know) turns its victims into carnivorous cannibals.

Humanity’s last hope lays in Melanie (Sennia Nanua), a precocious young girl who, although super smart and cute as a button, also craves human flesh. Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close (yes, that Glenn Close) play the adults protecting her once their post-apocalyptic military base is overrun by a horde of “hungries” (yes, seriously, that is what they call them). Alas, the film slowly devolves as the lapses in logic pile up, eventually bottoming out into complete silliness by the time a gang of feral “lost children” right out of 60’s-era Star Trek show up.

Bottom line: take the Train (rated 8/10) but return the Gifts (6/10).

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

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