‘The Dead 2’ Is A Solid Zombie Film

Nicholas Burton (Joseph Millson) is an American military engineer working in Mumbai, India on a wind farm. The project is nearing completion, and he is eagerly anticipating plans to return to the states with his newly pregnant girlfriend, Ishani. His plans are compromised when a mysterious epidemic hits, igniting an apocalyptic panic with people killing and eating each other in the streets. Nicholas is suddenly forced to fight for his survival and any hope of a happy future.

This film is a sequel to the Ford brothers’ first zombie epic, ‘The Dead,’ however it is more of a spiritual and thematic relation than direct offspring. It seems likely that it features the same deadly outbreak that struck in the first film, and that the events of both films are supposed to be happening almost simultaneously, albeit in different places.

The Ford Brothers have staked out an interesting niche in the zombie subgenre by attempting to explore the effects such an outbreak would have in different countries. ‘The Dead’ focused on Africa, whereas this film moves to India. This is an interesting idea, however, one cannot help but compare this globalized zombie effort to the similarly imagined, though much more ambitious, ‘World War Z.’ The Ford Brothers’ films focus on one particular country or region, whereas ‘World War Z’ attempted to paint a more overlapping worldwide picture. This gives the Ford brothers’ films a chance to explore and elaborate specific cultural and societal elements of various countries in ways that just could not happen in ‘World War Z.’ Unfortunately, ‘The Dead 2’ only occasionally scratches the surface on such efforts. In many ways the film just takes the standard zombie film plot and transcribes it to the new location with little area customization. The idea is good, but the presentation renders it into a somewhat minor plot point.

The scenery and filming choices bring the film to another level. India is a beautiful location to illustrate a zombie story even if the screenwriting doesn’t use the country to its full potential. The film’s story is entertaining, though simple in its execution. The zombies have a subtle creepiness to them, and the gore and blood effects create a necessarily unsettling atmosphere perfect for a good horror flick. There is an undercurrent of political and social commentary present throughout the film, however it doesn’t really add or subtract anything. Its absence would make some of the dialog less awkward, but its presence does add a bit of subtext to the somewhat paper-thin plot.

‘The Dead 2’ is a solid zombie film featuring a simple story, capable performances, great music, and incredible cinematography. While it doesn’t break the mold, the film follows a unique tone, and is an intriguing addition to the zombie subgenre.

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