Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Writers: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill
Plot: A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Running Time: 88 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.7
Why I Watched it: I’ll be honest here itunes at it on for .99 cents, so I gave it a try.
Random Thoughts: This is kind of an odd movie, when it was first coming out I heard a buzz in the horror world and the fact that Leigh Whannell had co-wrote it there was hope this would be one of those rare horror/comedies that would work then it kind of came out and just went and most reviews were negative. It’s got a good cast but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it gain the horror black comedy is the hardest sub-genre to pull off, you’re almost better to go hard in one direction, just make it a horror that has some humor or do a comedy that has splashes of horror.
What I Liked: I’ll be real honest here for the first third I really didn’t like this film, the jokes didn’t land and it was just bad but to it’s credit it did pick up and things did begin to roll close to the second act and then the third act was fine, once they embraced the horror element(zombie kids) the film found it’s feet.
The cast is good but mostly miscast, the standout is Wood, he’s a genre vet and he makes his very thin character work and once the action starts he’s very good.
The script is a mixed bag, it doesn’t work as a comedy but the action and zombie stuff was pretty well done for of course kind of being a PG-13 horror film, they didn’t have the balls to go all out. The best thing I can say about the film is that it got better and you can’t say that for many genre films, it did improve and everyone was at least trying.
What I Didn’t Like: The script is the weak link here, the characters just don’t work, outside the three main characters no one has more than one character trait, he’s the weird one, poor Jack McBrayer only has that his character is in the closet to play with, I didn’t even know what he taught. That is why the first half of the film was bad, we didn’t know these characters and really no one was that likable. The Rainn Wilson was cliched but man he was miscast, didn’t buy him as a former jock at all. Alison Pill was just bland and really the love triangle thing was the only thing she had going as a character.
The film failed on all levels to be funny and the first 3rd was really not funny, the jokes just did not land. So has a comedy it was bad, as a horror film it hurt itself trying to be funny. The directors just didn’t have a handle on the script or what they wanted to do unless they wanted to make an unfunny horror comedy.
Some people might thing it was because it was kids being used as the zombies but I don’t buy it, anything can work this didn’t not because of the source material, zombie can be funny these just weren’t.
Final Thoughts: I made it through it which at points I didn’t think would happen and by the end I kind of not hated it, it was just short of fine.