Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Dead Outside (2008)

Six months ago a virus spread through Great Britain, leaving the countryside deserted except for the infected and people trying to hide from them.  After his family dies, Daniel decides to leave his home, but runs out of gas on a lonely country road. Luckily there is a nearby house which appears to be well fortified and deserted.

Daniel eats some food in the house and bunks down for the night, but is awakened with a rifle in his face.  Homeowner April is hostile and distrustful, which is understandable due to the circumstances. Can you really trust anyone after a pandemic?

April isn't sure whether Daniel is being honest when he says he don't have the virus.  She tells him that if he has it, he shouldn't use the treatment since it will only make things worse.  She allows him to spend the night, but the next day he's attacked as he's trying to leave. So the two form an uneasy truce, which develops into an awkward partnership.

April doesn't like talking, while Daniel yearns for companionship.
When a woman shows up outside their yard, Daniel opens the gate to allow her to join them. April is upset.  Not only does she not trust strangers, but she doesn't like that Daniel finds it easier to get along with the new woman, and fears he'll leave with her.

While I got this on a movie pack of zombie movies, the zombies are negligible in this film.  There are a few here or there (until the end), and April has fortified her fence with barbed wire so none get even close to the house for most of the movie.  This is more a study of the characters and their relationship.  It's a lot of talking and not much blood. So if you're only interesting in blood and zombies, you won't like this.

Aside from a few places where I lost focus and wondered if I should continue watching, it was decent.  The film was made in Scotland and a few times I found the dialogue hard to understand, but it was more due to the level of the music rather than dialect.  There are numerous scenes where the music is louder than the characters.  The first time it happened, I thought it was being used as a device to signify that what they're saying isn't important. I expected a cut to some other scene or some sort of action to be the focus of the scene. Then I realized it was just a bad mix on the sound.

Another thing that makes this movie a bit difficult to watch is April's anger. I don't think she says  anything without an angry tone or angry yelling.  I get that she doesn't trust people, and she's traumatized by what's occurred, but does she need to yell at poor Daniel all the time?  Give it a rest.

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