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Night of the Living Dead: Darkest Dawn Review

If there was a CGI remake of Night of the Living Dead, would you watch it? In October 2015, they made one and I'm here to tell you... don't waste your time on it.

Directing this 62 minute animation/horror is Zebediah De Soto and Krisztian Majdik.

Some of the voice cast is: Danielle Harris as Barbara, Tony Todd as Ben, Bill Moseley as Johnny, R. Madhavan as Tom, Sarah Habel as Judy, Joseph Pilato as Harry Copper, Alona Tal as Helen Cooper and Tom Sizemore as Chief McClellan. 

When the zom-pocalypse breaks, out six strangers find themselves trapped in the city fighting to stay alive. 

So, here's one I didn't know existed, but when the title caught my eye I had to give it a go. As I was looking into the film more I found out the movie was originally titled Night of the Living Dead: Origins. I also found out, back when the project was started in 2009, it hit some road bumps and production wound up taking (off and on) five years to complete. The film used Indiegogo to try and raise money for the project, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful, and had to find other ways to raise the film's needed $200,000 (USD) goal, which might explain the amount of time it took to finish it. 

 

The story was written by Warren Davis II, Zebediah De Soto and David Reuben Schwartz and is a CGI remake of George A. Romero's original Night of the Living Dead (1968). This time around the writers moved the story from the original countryside setting to the city of New York, and updated it to modern-day; two things that didn't really help story-line. Basically, the story is the same as the original, and you even get some of the iconic moments from the original like hearing "They're coming to get you Bar-bara". Sadly, this remake had a CGI world open for them to create something different and do things the movies couldn't. Instead, all this one shows is a lack of imagination and a safe way to throw a story together. 

The play-through was slow and dragged on, which is why it had trouble holding my attention. Since the story was moved to the city, I figured there would be plenty of scenes filled with tons of zombies to fight off. Instead, you get a lot of scenes with empty streets or a few zombies charging in at a time. Nothing that screams, "Zombies have taken over a city, run for your lives."

This version of Night of the Living Dead, unlike the original or remake, fails at building any tension during the movie. So you never feel the terror that the characters are supposed to be going through. There're no surprises jumping out to scare you, or even creepy moments to raise the hair on the back of your neck. This one is plain and boring. 

The visual effects that The Graphic Film Company did for the film made it look like an old video game, which was kind of cool, but once you got up close to the characters, (most of) their faces looked really bad. The body movement wasn't very smooth either. Now, don't go into this one expecting anything gory because the most you'll get is some blood sprays when someone is attacked. 

One of the few cool things about this one is that it has Tony Todd and Bill Moseley reprising their roles from the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead. Aside from Todd's role, I think the cast line-up was filled wasted talent. Moseley's part is even smaller than it was in the 1990 remake. Sizemore's role was quick and over with before I knew it. Then there was Harris: Even though she's a main character, she barely speaks or does anything during the whole film. So you end up forgetting she's even in the film until the camera hits her again.

Overall, this might have made a decent video game, maybe, but it fails as a movie. 

It's rated UR (unrated) but has violence and language. 

1 star