Did the Dead Really Walk?
A Night of the Undead
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 20m
Director(s): Kenny Scott Guffey, Jake C. Young
Writer(s): Tyler Aucoin
Cast: Denny Kidd, Mason Johnson, Brianna Phipps, Mckenzie Clay
Where To Watch: Available to stream or order on Blu-ray from Walmart, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble January 31, 2023
RAVING REVIEW: A NIGHT OF THE UNDEAD is a horror film that explores the idea that the outbreak depicted in the 1968 classic, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, was based on actual events. The film follows a group of podcasters who set out to investigate the legend's authenticity on the event's anniversary and uncover the truth about the undead.
This isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster, but ultimately that’s okay. The film's premise is one of its most vital elements, providing a fresh and unique take on the zombie genre. The micro-budget production of only $1,500 adds realism and authenticity, making the film feel more like a documentary than a standalone horror film. For a movie with such a small budget, the filmmakers should be praised for their ability to create a thought-provoking and suspenseful horror film.
Using practical effects, minimal CGI, and unknown actors can be jarring to someone who traditionally only watches more notable films. The film's low budget should not be seen as a negative but rather as an opportunity for the filmmakers to showcase their creativity and resourcefulness. In most cases, they accomplish this, but there are a few moments where the reach may be slightly extended beyond their capabilities. The “face time” conversation in the car stood out to me as something that probably should’ve been handled differently.
Despite the budget constraints, the film can effectively build tension and create a sense of unease. The use of suspenseful music and tight camera angles adds to the purpose of anxiety and makes the film a thrilling and engaging experience. The film also features several intense and suspenseful moments that keep the audience on edge.
The film’s premise continues on a modern problem with horror where we wipe sequels off the table. This allows the film to stand on its own and be appreciated by audiences who may be tired of the traditional zombie trope. Still, in this case, it's more of a re-imagining than an alteration, so I don’t find it as distracting as, say, the HALLOWEEN franchise wiping films from existence.
In conclusion, A NIGHT OF THE UNDEAD is a well-crafted horror film that provides a fresh and unique take on the zombie genre.
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[photo courtesy of KMTS PICTURES]