Day #21: The Demented (2013)

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The Demented (2013) IMDB

Synopsis:

[From IMDB:] Six college friends unite for a weekend getaway where they find themselves fighting for their lives after a terrorist attack turns the local residents into rage infused zombies.

My take:

As I noted in yesterday’s post, I’ve kind of hit my limit on generic vampire and zombie stories for the moment. So, it’s perhaps unfortunate for The Demented that it happened to be the next movie that I watched, because it’s going to end up bearing the brunt of a bit of a rant that, while well-deserved, is not specific to this movie.

I’ve noted before that I don’t necessarily have a problem with bad movies. I think they can be entertaining in their own right, as long as they embrace their cheesiness and just run with it.

When the line “I’m just kind of feeling cheesy” was uttered in the first couple of minutes of The Demented, it almost seemed like they were winking at the audience. Because, it was cheesy. Terribly so. I mean, we’re less than five minutes in and my own notes directly after this quote already reads as follows: “There’s a REASON for that!” So, it’s not like I had high expectations.

But, The Demented managed to hit on two things that really bug me in any movie: boring, two-dimensional characters; and a lack of consistency in its internal logic.

Now, it’s not really a surprise that a generic zombie flick has two-dimensional characters. They’re pretty much there in order to give us a body count, and provide the special effects team with an opportunity to kill them off creatively. I get that. I’m all for that! But when you have boring characters dying in boring ways, I’m not really sure what you’re expected to take away from a movie.

[Side note: I do feel the need to point out that Ashlee Brian was the only actor in the group who seemed to have any kind of character development; and he also gave us one of the only chase scenes really worth noting. So, he wasn’t entirely boring.]

And this brings me to my second major problem with The Demented. If you establish that your zombies are essentially ‘activated’ by sound, then that should be what happens. Not just when you remember to do it for the sake of a particular scene, but all the time. There’s not much use in setting up a particular mechanic when you’re going to have your characters breaking the rules every other minute, without any real consequences (except when there are consequences, because reasons). Otherwise, you’re just being annoying.

See what you’ve done, The Demented? You’ve annoyed me! Raaar!

So, yeah. It might not be a surprise when I finish this off by suggesting that, with all the generic zombie movies that are already out there, you’re probably better off giving this one a miss.

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