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Review: Day of the Dead: Bloodline Doesn’t Really Help Sell the Idea of a Zombie Apocalypse

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Day of the Dead Bloodline Max Still

Ten years ago we got a remake of Romero’s 1985 classic. Now we have yet another retread of the story of a group of scientists and soldiers surviving in an underground bunker in a world overrun by zombies. The premise is promising but it’s hard to distance this film from the superior original.

Zack Snyder did a great job of creating a masterful remake with 2004’s Dawn of the Dead. He managed to capture lightning in a bottle. 2008’s remake of Day of the Dead was less successful. Will this second attempt at a Day reboot be yet another pointless, inferior imitation?

It’s certainly competently made from a technical standpoint. The score is compelling, the cinematography professionally shot and lit and despite some dubbing issues the sound design is impressively well layered.

It has a glossy, clean feel and clearly choreographed anarchy which doesn’t really help sell the idea of a zombie apocalypse. The glossiness takes away from any visceral impact and makes the film feel bloodless.

Day of the Dead Bloodline Still

The over reliance on CGI is unfortunate considering the charm of Romero’s original came from its impressive practical effects.

Also lacking in this remake are any likeable characters. The tension of the original relied on the conflict between scientists and soldiers trapped together underground. Bloodline doesn’t have any conflict because there’s no one worth caring about. The acting is poor and uncharismatic, the decisions the characters make are idiotic, the dialogue is mostly clichéd army jargon.

Where’s the guts of the original? Where’s the sickening medical tone and claustrophobic atmosphere? Why should I care about these characters? Why am I bored and why didn’t this movie end sooner?

Day of the Dead: Bloodline should be a lesson to all filmmakers that to make a great remake you need to build on what made the original great. There are better remakes and certainly better zombie movies than this one out there.

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