With zombie films such as Train to Busan or The Girl With All The Gifts along with TV shows such as The Walking Dead or iZombie offering new slabs or takes on the genre, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Z train must surely be running out of steam sometime soon, but they just keep on trucking. Sure you might get your Day of the Dead: Bloodline movies to contend with but amongst the trite and bloodied guts of the genre, some shine and offer a glimpse of hope, proving that there still maybe signs of life yet to come.
The latest in the mix is French/Canadian horror film (now available on Netflix) that is witty, charming, harrowing and unnerving. And what’s more, you actually give a shit about the characters.
We gradually meet the characters one by one as they scramble and fight for survival in a rural town in Quebec during an apparent zombie outbreak.
There’s Bonin and Vézina, the jokers of the pack, quipping as they coolly dispatch a zombie horde; Céline, a hardcore woman who would give Michonne a run for her money in the badass department; the elderly couple, Therese and Pauline; Tania, the heart of the movie who has been bitten but swears that it was by a dog; Zoé, a little girl; the wise Réal, and young crack shot Ti-Cul. All of who cross paths on their post-apocalyptic journey. One of the gems of this movie is that as we warm to each character, the rug of comfort will be pulled out from under our feet and not necessarily when or with whom you expect it to be from.
Director Robin Aubert leans towards a minimalistic approach to his work, which allows the actors the freedom to stretch their talents and delve deep into their characters. This coupled with some amazing cinematography that allows the beautiful scenery to be captured with stunning shots that breathes life onto the screen. This works in stark contrast against the claustrophobic tension-filled scenes when the zombies choose to attack, which they almost do with animalistic ability, hunting their prey and luring them from safety before ripping them apart or going on a feeding frenzy.
The zombies are also to be commended, as they don’t fit your usual traits. They appear to have smarts and a sense of community attached to them, often being territorial in places. They come with their wails or screams ale Invasion of the Body Snatchers when they see potential victims, but also come with an ethereal oddity when stacking furniture to impressive sights with these structures reaching to the heavens as they all gather round and stare at their creations. This is never explained and compliments the mystery and oddity to the virus that has swept mankind.
A zombie film with heart as well as brains that is played out with dramatic integrity and draws you in deep enough to care for the characters before swiftly delivering a killer blow.
– Saul Muerte