Six college friends unite for a weekend getaway where they find themselves fighting for their lives after a terrorist attack turns the local residents into rage infused zombies.
There is no denying that we are upon the day and age of zombie/crazy viral style films (28 Days Later, Crazies, World War Z…..). In fact they come out so often these days that I begin to anticipate another run of the same “did that, done that scenarios”, even before release. I knew that “The Demented” would follow in this same path, however when you get down to it, a good film really comes down to how the characters interplay and “how” (when the chaos descends) it all rolls out.
I have to say, right off the start, that I really enjoyed “The Demented”. Most shoppers will see the zombie cover, assume a first impression, and probably use that as a basis to make a quick decision on if they want “another” film of “that’ style of product on their shelves. However the point to make right off the bat (which is really the argument for any like film in this genre that we have to review) is…..”The Demented” is well shot, well acted, and really takes the time to let the audience get to know its characters (isn’t this why “The Walking Dead” works so well?). It does have its jarring moments and despite a sort of “cookie cutter run to safety story” does some things really well.
The premise which (for purists might not refer to these as zombies) is rooted in a viral chemical bombing that releases a chemical agent onto the area nearby to basically turn animals and humans into mad dogs. The change and level of attack does fairly well in the tension area and to my surprise caught me off guard a few times. I thought this review would work better for the release giving my opinion first as the premise in description doesn’t sound too innovative on its own.
As a group of friends get together for partying and relaxation at their friend Howard’s summer home (while his parent are away), they indulge in water sports and gossip. Complete with a few moments of backstabbing affairs to argue over while they get acquainted, it still looks to be the perfect summer vacation. Taylor, David, Brice, Sharley, Naomi and Howard make up the gang who have no idea what is lurking ahead. Howard, the spoiled one of the group wastes no time in acting up his childish nature leaning David to be the sappy one and Brice to have the most common sense (and balls in the face of danger). The girls fill in the gaps by looking hot while keeping the movie sexy and sassy.
Things do get heated, but not as heated as when Howard receives a call from his father that there has been terrorist attacks and bombings. A bomb flies overhead and releases a nice mushroom cloud visual for the group, though the worst is yet to come as things begin to get really odd and dangerous.
With the entrance of a mad dog, the adventure begins…. This round of walking creeps practices the “run s fast as you can” rhythm while otherwise standing completely still between jaunts as they wait. Some traits such as “infection into demented” are apparent, while other side effects appear to be a form of “waiting” to attack living humans for no apparent reason. “The Demented” stays strong with plenty of chase scenes and traumatized actors running for their lives.
Do we care that most never make it out? Not so much, I believe it’s just more fun to watch than to over analyze the situations. “The Demented” is directed by Christopher Roosevelt, of who I think shows real talent for keeping the story drama in tact. On bluray, it just makes things look that much better. Give this one a go, it’s well deserved.
The Demented in now available on Bluray per Anchor Bay
The Demented (2013)