“…The Dead Inside is oftentimes a prophetic title indeed.”
I was just thinking to myself the other evening, “Do you know what we need? Another zombie movie. Now that’s a genre that needs some attention!” Since 2010, there has been a total of 90 feature-length films with some sort of mainstream release. So how does one rise above the this mountain of movies devoted to the undead when it seems as though the genre has been drained of every ounce of life left in it?
The UK import The Dead Inside, does no such thing. It’s yet another sole-survivors-versus-a-neverending-horde-of-flesh-hungry-meatbags, let that be clear. It’s shot with a budget of a grocery bill, features some rather spotty acting, and suffers from an array of issues with both its cinematography and sound. But one thing you cannot fault it for is the lack of heart of its filmmakers.
The film is like a big brother to Pathogen, the 2006 film directed by Emily Hagins, a pre-teen whose “let’s put on a show” attitude convinced a community to rally behind her zombie flick, as documented in 2009’s entertaining Zombie Girl.
It’s a familiar equation: viral outbreak + group of local strangers + growling, gargling undead = fight for survival in which we attempt to guess who will become Zombie Chow. There’s no twist, there’s no new spin and really no element to distinguish The Dead Inside from countless others populating the shelves, but there is an obvious affinity for the genre and strands of talent encoded in its DNA.
The writing-directing team of Andrew Gilbert and Julian Hundy are newbies to the feature filmmaking scene, but their affection for the genre is prevalent, even when their budget precludes them from polishing things up.
There are some decent acting turns throughout, but just as many that detract from the action at hand. There are some skilled camera angles, but also a number of scenes that are mere blurs of light and darkness. And there are some moments of realistic dialogue, but just as many scenes that would have benefited from a better mic or ADR.
It’s obvious that this is a labor of love for the lads, and as evident as their passion is, it’s not enough for me to recommend this flick, even though I am rooting for them. Perhaps an investor will recognize the determination and fork over a few extra quid for these boys to help them realize their potential.
Fans of the genre certainly have much worse to suffer through when selecting their fright night features, but sadly because of their various limitations, The Dead Inside is oftentimes a prophetic title indeed.
Review by Rob Rector, Lead Entertainment Writer