ZOMBIE DIARIES 2

6.5 out of 10 

Release Date: 24th November 2011 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Michael Barrett and Kevin Gates (Paranormal Diaries 2 / Paranormal Diaries / The Zombie Diaries)

Cast: Philip Brodie, Alix Wilton-Regan, Rob Oldfield, Vicky Araico, Okorie Chukwu, Toby Bowman, Toby Nicholas, Josh Myers, Craig Stovin, Criselda Cabitac, Marshall Griffin, Jonnie Hurn, Amanda Sterkenburg with Hiram Bleetman and Russell Jones

Writer: Michael Barrett and Kevin Gates

Trailer: ZOMBIE DIARIES 2

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TO BE PROOF READ: This tenuously linked sequel is a marked improvement in every department compared to it’s predecessor.  The plot is quite brilliant, the acting (which couldn’t be worse) is much better, and although there is still lots of room for improvement, this is a very impressive little Brit-Zombie movie.  It’s a shame that it’s associated itself with the earlier episode.

Michael Barrett and Kevin Gates return as directors and writers and it seems like they’ve actually put a degree of thought into proceedings.  Part 2 concentrates on the military unit seen at the beginning and ending of Part 1.  After their barracks gets overrun by Zombies after a dopey soldier leaves the main gates open, half a dozen soldiers and a mental survivor make a dash to the coast so that they can maybe make it over to Holland / main land Europe.  The soldiers are identifiable character ciphers – brave, cowardly, tough, mad etc.  Unlike, part one the soldiers are easily to tell apart despite the jerky cameras. Yes, this is another inexplicable ‘found-footage’ horror.  I can see the budgetary reasons for using this device, but when on the run these cameras are the last thing you’d want to be carrying around.  Quite a few lives are lost at the expense of capturing some all crucial footage – and the batteries seem to be everlasting once again. Amazing.

However, despite the moans there are couple of ingenious plot turns (I won’t go as far as saying twists), but the story belies a good knack for story telling. This isn’t just a stalk and munch saga as often is the case with a lot of Zombie flicks. There’s very little in the character dynamics department but you don’t expect anyone to develop beyond types in this kind of thing. It’s the story devices that reveal some interesting layers.  I mean these guys are our heroes in the film, so a revelation that literally pulls the rug from under the viewers feet is especially good.

Elsewhere, Russell Jones and Hiram Bleetman (GNAW) return in their roles as the faces of human survival at its worst.  They get a whole chunk of the movie to demonstrate (again) quite how far, and how quickly society can generate into deadly chaos.  Their acting skill have improved a little bit too and its actually a relief when they’re characters disappear out of the story again. In part 1 they were just tedious, here the makers and actors have got everything just right.

The effects for the zombies are great and they are quite scary on a number of occasions. They maybe slow but in this episode, they have a lot of friends.  It’s also enjoyable to see a zombie film that takes to the road. So many Zombie films focus on characters that have been pinned down to one location that will eventually fall.

6.5 out of 10 – Zombie Diaries 2 is a vast improvement on the first entry in virtually every department. The plot is one of the very best I’ve seen in a Zombie film – ever! The acting, writing, effects, scares, tension and plot make you look forward to other films from these guys.  Everything is better. It’s a shame to associate this with the woeful first entry. Recommended to all fans of low-fidelity horror flicks.  It’s not quite Colin, but it’s almost there – bite for bite.  Don’t let the stupid and tired ‘found-footage’ device put you off – the makers have used this familiarity to its advantage to trip you up big time.  Recommended for horror fans.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

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