Director: Joe Dante
Writer: Alan Trezza (screenplay by)
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario
Plot: A guy’s regrets over moving in with his girlfriend are compounded when she dies and comes back as a zombie.
Running time: 89 minutes
IMDB Score: 5.4
Why I watched it: It’s a Joe Dante film and the cast is pretty good.
Random thoughts: It’s tough watching Anton Yelchin, we lost him way too soon. I don’t think this film got much of a releases, it’s too bad to see Joe Dante just surviving making these kind of genre films, he’s a very interesting filmmaker who has lost his place right now.
What I liked: Yelchin and Daddario are both very likable actors and they do have a good chemistry together. They’re relationship is easily the best part of the film.
Of course there is a Dick Miller cameo here, if it’s a Joe Dante film then Miller is there. This is a pleasant film, almost a good natured film considering it’s a horror comedy, and it’s got a decent pace to it.
What I didn’t like: Until the last ten minutes this is not a horror film whatsoever, if you go in thinking comedy or satire in a zombie film then you will be disappointed. There’s no edge to this film, no teeth. I would call this more of a romantic comedy than a horror comedy, they do almost nothing with the fact that Greene gets turned into a zombie. The device they use is so slight and after doing what it does is basically not used again. There’s a devil genie, they make a wish to be together forever she dies and there we have a zombie story. No backstory or what this was or why it could do it.
The acting is fine here though I will say Yelchin seems a bit miscast and at times lost, he underplays so much I feared he was going to fall asleep. The weak link here is Ashley Greene, she’s one note when she was alive then dead she just doesn’t have the comic timing to make the gimmick work. Don’t get me wrong she’s a decent actress and attractive but comedy is not her strong suit and to be fair the role is very badly written.
I will say the blame here falls on the script and the direction, the story doesn’t fill fleshed out at all and really Dante doesn’t seem to have something to say. I also would like to pick at something, usually I leave this kind of stuff alone but I have to complain the way the female characters are written, both female leads are needy and chase after the male lead, both just want to have sex with him and are worried he doesn’t care for them, now they give Greene some backstory, her mother died and she’s scarred her love will leave her, alright but Daddario just had a boyfriend dump here cause he found God and she hasn’t had sex in a while, yes she shares this the first time the two go out.
For Greene she’s given a character trait of being an environmentalist, honestly that’s her biggest trait and it’s played for laughs kind of. Plus they have a side character played by Oliver Cooper, he’s Yelchin’s half brother in the film, a joke they say a lot and he treats women as objects, he has to have sex with them at his half brother’s place so they won’t know where he lives.
The film really only goes in the direction of horror in the end and it’s lame and coming from Dante that’s unforgivable.
Final thoughts: It’s a well meaning film and everyone tries but this is a flat film that really does nothing with the horror/comedy genre, it feels dated and sadly lame.