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"Devil's Playground" is basically a complete rip-off of Danny Boyle's 2002 horror masterpiece "28 Days Later". Same basic concept; fast-moving infected (not actually zombies as such)on the loose in modern day London and a group of individuals trying to escape the horror, fighting amongst themselves on the way. The one thing it doesn't borrow from it's source material is any level of intelligence. The characters are melodramatic clichés and way too good-looking and well-groomed to be in any way realistic; even though it's a low-budget British film it unfortunately follows the crap Hollywood template of shallow, unbelievable, glamorous leads stuck in an increasingly over-the-top set of action-based scenarios. Still, if you just want to watch something empty-headed and fun then it's not all bad. The stunt sequences are well done and the movie is nicely shot, with some fantastic views of London on display. Don't take it too seriously and you'll have a good time.
Although I imagine this is a straight to DVD affair, I caught this film
on the big screen, followed by a Q&A with the director, and other
members of cast and crew, who seemed very proud of their work.
During the showing the film got a few unintentional laughs which led a member of the cast to comment afterwards "I didn't know we had made a comedy zombie film" - No you didn't, you made a film which for the most part was extremely dull, with a wafer thin story and unconvincing characters. The laughter in the audience was due to the poor delivery of meagre lines of script and cliché plot developments.
With so many zombie films out there, you need a new angle to stand out from the crowd, and it was the directors belief that this comes from the fact that the zombies are free runners. To be fair, although free running zombies is only one step forward from the speedy zombies of the Dawn of the Dead remake and 28 Days Later, it's not a bad idea and I was fairly enthused with the idea of seeing this slight new twist. However I was soon to be extremely disappointed that although the film was being sold with this as its unique selling point, this wasn't exploited at all. Yes, the zombies (which mostly just looked like young people in hoodies) ran fast, jumped and vaulted over cars and other obstacles in their way a few times, but I was left thinking is that it, could they not jump and twist off a few buildings or do something well a bit more visually exciting?
The fact that this aspect of the film didn't live up to the hype was only compounded by the complete lack of interesting story. I never bought into any of the characters, especially the lead (played by Craig Fairbrass) who for me has no screen presence whatsoever. Within half an hour I couldn't care less whether any of the characters survived, and the zombies were so uninspiring that I couldn't even root for them.
On the plus side, I thought the film was well shot, with some cool images of London just about stopping me nodding off from boredom a couple of times. Plus there was a genuinely funny cameo from Sean Pertwee (the best part of the film). Shame that his character was never to be seen again, his story might have been more interesting!
I sat through this bum-fluff at the recent GoreZone Festival in
London's West End and almost lost the will to live before the opening
credits had rolled. The prologue featuring bargain-basement
'action-man' Craig Fairbrass woodenly spouting even more wooden
dialogue at the camera as a prep for the sub '28 Days Later'
'Rollercoaster' to come, made my heart sink faster than 'The Detonator'
ride at Thorpe Park, and quickly proved its pedigree as a very bad omen
for things to come.
Despite the first half hour containing a few nods to the guilty pleasures of Tobe Hooper's 'Lifeforce', there is little to no fun to be derived from this joyless and dispiritingly derivative Brit-Horror that scrapes the bottom of the 'Zombies-what-can-run' barrel into the dirt.
Accomplished camera-work and Sean Pertwee's hilarious cameo stave off some of the boredom, but a hopeless script and Danny Dyer's pathetic attempt at an emphatic hero put debut director Mark McQueen's puny entry into this exhausted genre deservedly into the dustbin of the underachieving undead.
Despite the fast paced action scenes I managed to be bored bored
BORED(!) after 40 minutes. The story is so straight lined and clichéd
that you can't even be bothered to hope for any twists, and the only
character who's slightly believable and sympathetic is Craig Fairbrass
Don't get me wrong. I'm a huge zombie(/virus) fan, and I am aware that you don't necessarily need an amazing script nor 100% believable characters to make an entertaining zombie movie. But if you have neither and you don't have a single new interesting idea well maybe you should just donate the money for charity instead of wasting it on another dull movie. People seem to compare this with 28 days/weeks later which apart from all of them being British and (relatively) low budget is blasphemy in my ears. In my opinion; if you like 28 days/weeks later go watch them again instead of wasting your time on this one.
A very low budget action/horror Brit flick featuring freerunning mutant
zombie flesh eaters. Craig (Cliffhanger) Fairbrass and Danny (just
about every recent cheapo-diamond-geezer pseudo-Arthur Mullard C-Grade
megatrash straight-to-video Brit movie in recent years) Dyer take the
The script and dialogue are pretty darned atrocious and the acting is sub-primary school nativity play standard. But, the pace is frenetic, the action violent and unrelenting, and it is a bit of mildly diverting fun. Plus, considering the budget must have stood at around £7.80 and a bag of chps, the convincing representation of London in the midst of a zombie apocalypse is fairly well rendered and quite suitably atmospheric.
There's plenty of punching, strangling, bludgeoning and shooting of the freerunning mutant zombie flesh eaters, and the very fact that the makers thought a Resident Evil type of virus McGuffin with the side-effect of gracing the stricken with parkour skills was a workable creative advance on the "28 Days Later" formula, makes it quite hilarious to watch at times.
Worth a look if you've nothing better to do. A cheerfully trashy time-waster.
A film based on zombies that move quicker than most (but not all)
zombies from other movies is not a good premise for a story. It's not
even the seed of a story. Even their own blurb says:
"DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is a cutting edge British horror film that features zombies portrayed by free runners for a terrifyingly authentic representation of the undead."
There are so many things wrong with everything in that sentence, but mainly the word 'authentic', as if the filmmakers spent time documenting those pesky reanimated corpses which litter our streets, sprinting and leaping about everywhere.
This is barely a movie. I could criticize it further, but you can simply choose any word like 'acting' or 'directing' or 'script' and put it next to the word 'terrible'. This will save you time. The two stars is for a good title. If you want to watch free runners pretend to be zombies, you have my sympathy.
Stop me if you've heard this before.
A superdrug is tested inadvertently causes the patients to turn into mindless, rage filled ummm aaaaahhhh zombies I guess. Coming into contact with fluids or being bitten by the infected allows the virus/condition/disease to be spread, leading to a massive contagion in the entire nation of Great Britain.
Sound familiar? Well what about this? Only one patient seems immune to the negative symptoms you know the flesh eating and general insanity she is on the run, with various parties in pursuit to see if she holds the key to a cure.
OK so Devil's Playground hardly breaks into new territory, but it has a couple of moments, not the least of which is the count the clichés bingo that can be played while watching.
The reporter on the street being interrupted and killed on screen.
The guy who repeats "Mum. Mum. MUM!" as his destiny shuffles ever closer, covered in blood and ready to teach the poor dumb guy a lesson in common sense.
The guy who's infected and needs a cure immediately, only he lasts half the film without one while others who share a glass turn in 45 seconds flat.
The whole 'but she's pregnant' bit.
After the Zompocalypse © starts the infected immediately turn into parkour-ing Reapers from Blade 2, all leaping, snarling, unnecessary wall climbing menaces. They spill lots of blood and cause lots of gore all over the UK, usually with backdrops of carefully constructed carnage reminiscent of the Left 4 Dead video games.
Devil's Playground is uninspired and formulaic and doesn't do much to separate it from a million other similarly bland zombie flicks. As much as I love zombies I can't help but think for the time being they are a little overdone, this isn't the film that will revitalize the genre, but I give a couple bonus points for at least trying to make the film look bigger and flasher than a lot of other low budget efforts.
Final Rating 4.5 / 10. So you say zombies are threatening the very social fabric of a nation again and it's up to a few individuals to save humanity? Wake me when it's finished will ya?
It's interesting how influential Danny Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER was . It
wasn't apparent at the time but from that point onwards each and every
zombie film must feature zombies , sorry "infected" who can outrun
Usain Bolt while having the endurance of a marathon runner . It's also
noticeable how many zombie films there are with a massive number of
short films and films on The Horror Channel featuring zombie apocalypse
. Perhaps most notciable of all is how poor most of them are . and with
hindsight Boyle's film was much better than I thought it was on first
viewing . This inspiration called DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND is better than
most of its peers but that's probably down to a simple reason it's a
conscious rip off from Boyle's original
In its favour and considering its cast it'd be a very easy route to take and treat as a Lads Mags horror comedy with lots of nudge nudge wink wink humour testing the patience of its prospective audience . One thing I did like was the dead pan serious tone and while it's hardly big budgeted it does its utmost best to paint a convincing infected outbreak that took place unseen in 28 DAYS LATER . One of the rejected plots for 28 WEEKS LATER was having a SAS platoon rescuing the Prime Minister from the infected outbreak and once you're aware of this rejected screenplay you're able to see how this scenario would have played out on screen . Replace the PM with someone who has a possible immunity to the infection and replace the SAS platoon a more diverse group and you're left thinking that Boyle and Garland got it riht with the version of 28 WEEKS LATER that did make it to the cinemas . Not to be too hard DEBVIL'S PLAYGROUND it's much more enjoyable than I expected it to be and has been one of the better films The Horror Channel has shown recently
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh dear oh dear. Yet another low budget zombie type movie that fails to
hit any kind of spot.
Danny Dyer can be likable enough in some films, but he always plays the same part, no matter what the movie, and in this that trend continues. Unfortunately his limited talent and acting abilities shine through here more than in many of his other films. In fact, the only person who is more wooden and a worse actor is Craig Farbrass, a very poor man's Jason Statham. The director and screenwriter have nicked bits from other films, most noticeably 28 Days Later with fast moving and agile baddies. But this film has none of the style or substance of 28 Days Later. None of the characters are in any way likable, in the end you just do not care one iota if everyone dies, in fact, you end up wishing they would all be killed just so the dross can end.
If you want to see how good a low budget Zombie type horror can be, rent the French film La Horde instead.
If Danny Dyer was hoping this film would improve his star-rating then
he's surely mistaken. This film is dyer(dire) sorry couldn't resist.
I love a good zombie-flick, but this isn't it. Bad direction, bad storyline, bad acting even worse script. There are no redeeming features to this boring, slow, limited action movie. Best avoid it if you can, be warned Danny Dyer's cockney scowl doesn't an actor make. When are film makers going to realize this guy is useless, and doesn't warrant the attention given to him.
Walk away, don't waste your time - painting your garden fence and watching it dry would be more entertaining than this drivel.
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