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Zombies Review

Zombies is a 2017 horror film where the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, leaving only the strong to survive.

I guess if you’re going to straight-up call your film “Zombies,” then you’ve already made a decision about subtly. Or perhaps lack thereof. The massively popular horror sub-genre seems, like the menace that populates them, unstoppable as a relentless flow of them come from all corners. Some are doing it right, finding creative and even innovate ways to, if you’ll pardon the express, give it some life. Others, well, not so much. Now comes Hamid Torabpour‘s Zombies, a film that commits to the genre like it’s going over the falls in a barrell, full of ambition but lacking any depth or edge to make it work like it could.

Starting after the zombie apocalypse has already begun, Luke (Steven Luke) is locked in a jail cell in a small town in middle America, just outside, chaos sweeping through the streets. He’s saved by Detective Sommers (Tony Todd), the man who arrested him, given machetes, then helping to fight their way out of the overrun station where he joins a newly-formed crew of warriors who commit themselves to searching for and rescuing survivors. This includes trying to find a beautiful girl named Bena (Raina Hein), whom Luke has great interest, and dealing with Haley (Heidi Fellner), a former lawyer who has somehow bonded with the undead and is using them as a weapon.

I won’t deny that Zombies has some effective if not familiar zombie moments, many that play out exactly as we’ve seen dozens of times before, since they, like the others, tap into our baser fears. This gives them some merit for existing in the genre. Hordes of undead trap a hero and they blast their way out over and over and everything from The Walking Dead to 28 Days Later have gone to the same well, some doing it better than others. Torabpour isn’t interested at all in trying to color outside the lines with these standards, sticking to the recipe with an almost obligatory sense. That’s not to say there isn’t potential and even a few good characters. In fact, there’s a case to be made that Torabpour isn’t taking it seriously at all, that this is purely a zombie movie for the sake of being a zombie movie. He doubles down on expectations and for fans of such, this might be enough.

However, Zombies does come up short everywhere else. There is a surprising lack of momentum to the film, and along with some spotty acting and unimaginative direction, the experience is sort of imbalanced. Scenes jump sporadically, often putting Luke in a room with danger and then cutting to moments later, him out with no sense of how. Furthermore, the Haley sublot is abandoned early without much reason or impact. While budget limitations are surely a concern, it can’t overcome the disappointing dialogue and clichéd approach throughout, including an ending that attempts some last minute punch but is itself nothing we’ve not seen before, even as it amounts to the most impactful moment of the movie.

While it’s stocked with everything a zombie movie needs, it is almost entirely without suspense, which is not helped by a generic score that does little to boost much-needed energy. There’s nothing wrong with adding to the zombie mix, and Zombies surely can’t be faulted for trying to join the fun. It’s just too bad it couldn’t find something more substantial to being to the party.

Zombies Review

Movie description: Zombies is a 2017 horror film where the world is in shambles, plagued by a zombie outbreak, leaving only the strong to survive.

Director(s): Hamid Torabpour

Actor(s): Tony Todd, Steven Luke, Raina Hein

Genre: Horror

  • Our Score
User Rating 3 (2 votes)
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