Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
While filming a horror movie of mummy in a forest, the students and their professor of the University of Pittsburgh hear on the TV the news that the dead are awaking and walking. Ridley and Francine decide to leave the group, while Jason heads to the dormitory of his girlfriend Debra Monahan. She does not succeed in contacting her family and they travel in Mary's van to the house of Debra's parents in Scranton, Pennsylvania. While driving her van, Mary sees a car accident and runs over a highway patrolman and three other zombies trying to escape from them. Later the religious Mary is depressed, questioning whether the victims where really dead, and tries to commit suicide, shooting herself with a pistol. Her friends take her to a hospital where they realize that the dead are indeed awaking and walking and they need to fight to survive while traveling to Debra's parents house. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I just saw a screening in Glasgow last night and was really impressed. After seeing Land of the Dead I feared GAR was destined to make only studio controlled zombie films that sold out his previous works, but this is something of a return to form. The budget is tiny and the actors unknown (as is the case with his best films), but the special effects are top-notch and there is plenty of gore that's made even more unsettling as seen through the lens of a camcorder.
The 'Point Of View' technique is bound to generate concern over similarities to other films using the same style (Cloverfield for instance) but Diary is a very different kind of film and certainly not a 'rip-off', but rather a smaller scale movie doing it's own thing.
There's humour (some real laugh-out-loud moments), social commentary (perhaps a little heavy handed, but relevant and intelligent), suspense, gore and everything else we've come to expect from a Romero film but bundled-up into a new and fresher style by the old guy. It was really interesting to see him trying something new.
As a fan of the genre and of Romero's works I was ultimately relieved and impressed by Diary after entering the theatre a sceptic. This isn't his best film and some fans will no doubt be let down, but after seeing it myself I was happy to see him back on track.
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