Tuesday 30 July 2013

15 Second Review: Pretty Dead (2013)

Pretty Dead combines found-footage and zombies. That summary probably sets alarm bells ringing for most, since a) both subgenres are over-saturated, and b) Diary of the Dead already got there a long time ago (and was not especially inspiring). Now, set those worries aside because there is life in the old corpse yet. Pretty Dead uses both tropes to great effect. The found footage element lends credibility to the realistic, scientifically plausible zombie narrative. The latter is the film’s trump-card. Pretty Dead is an invigorating take on the zombie movie. The narrative documents 24 year old Regina, who believes she is gradually transforming into one of the undead. Her self-diagnosis is tempered by a medical examiner’s more plausible explanation that Regina is suffering from Coutard’s syndrome. Those conflicting viewpoints impel the narrative forward. Being a transition-narrative, Pretty Dead will no doubt draw comparisons to I, Zombie: The Chronicles of Pain, although Pretty Dead is its own beast (and is also a more rewarding experience for my money). Pretty Dead benefits from strong central performances and great chemistry between Carly Oates and Ryan Shogren. Although it is not perfect – the film’s restricted budget occasionally shows, for example – Pretty Dead is an intriguing debut from writer/director team Joe Cook and Ben Wilkins, who have created a genuinely interesting and refreshing film on limited resources. Well worth watching.

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