Where there’s horror, there must be zombies and in this edition of MOTELx, they were there to make you laugh and to scare you perhaps a bit. The fun and the excitement that a zombie flick is capable of causing is something that every horror fan is used to and after a romantic comedy there was no better way to surprise the fans than a bloody fest starring Nazi Zombies. A Norwegian film directed by Tommy Wirkola was the main dish of a double feature session at the festival, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. The movie begins with a short introduction to present the viewers the most important events of the first movie and explains how the Nazi Zombies appeared in our world. I could try writing a good synopsis for the movie but trust me, in this specific case, it’s best for me to leave you with the original one.
“If the worst day of your life consisted of accidentally killing your girlfriend with an axe, chain-sawing your own arm off, and watching in horror as your closest friends were devoured by a zombified Nazi battalion, you’d have to assume that things couldn’t get much worse. In Martin’s case, that was only the beginning.”
Everyone knows that a funny zombie flick is no big deal because let’s face it, most of them look like comedies with serious amounts of gore but, when someone decides to direct a movie starring Nazi Zombies, suddenly there’s some excitement surrounding the picture and you start wondering how could that idea work. Yep, the idea looks a bit stupid at first but, trust me, in the end I was shocked with the way everything worked. So, in a middle of a zombie apocalypse where Nazis are ruling the place, a Zombie Squad appears to help a poor guy with a zombified arm defeating the creatures that are devouring his friends. The side-plot of the arm with its own will gave me tremendous amounts of fun and there were lots of bloody moments to keep my wishes satisfied. The Nazis in the middle kind of make Dead Snow 2 become a bit more special and the apocalypse looks a lot like a miniature world war. The acting is also good for a zombie flick and for most of the time the movie stood out pretty well. The movie is funny, terrifying and bloody and has style. It’s a complete surprise and a great horror flick… In the end, it ended up being a rare case in which the stupidity worth extra points. Dead Snow 2 is out there and it deserves to be seen, at least by those who appreciate the genre.
- Directed by: Jeff Baena
- With: Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan and John C. Reilly
- 89 Minutes
This year, the organization of MOTELx decided to officially open the festival with a romantic comedy about zombies. Yep, from that small description it looks a lot that I’m talking about last year’s Warm Bodies but no. Zombies always were specific creatures dedicated to the horror genre but apparently someone saw their potential for comedies and now it looks like we’re living in an alternative world were romantic comedies with undead are a reality. Life After Beth is the name of the movie I’m about to review. A boy in love, a zombie apocalypse in coming… Everything could go wrong but the real question is: is it worth to watch?
Zach is devastated after his girlfriend’s death but when she returns to our world miraculously, he wishes to seize the most this second opportunity that fate gave to him. Unfortunately for poor Zach, Beth is not quite the person she was before and there’s not much he can do to improve his life.
Life After Beth stars John C. Reilly and Paul Reiser and was directed by Jeff Baena. The critical reception after its world premiere at the Sundance festival featured some pleasant compliments but this is not enough to say that picking this movie to open a horror film festival isn’t a risky choice. Although it reveals heart and soul, I did not feel compelled with it. I mean, there are really funny moments but it’s like the movie is divided into two different acts in which in the first one there’s love in the air and in the second one action and comedy rule the place. The characters are funny and I enjoyed watching Reilly on the screen but nothing memorable happened and that kind of let me down. I enjoyed Warm Bodies because it was different, it was romantic and funny but in Life After Beth I was incapable of feel anything except for laughing about some of the jokes. It’s funny to see how everything evolves and the love story is funny but the plot as a whole was not a big deal and I felt a bit bored in some moments. Probably I was not in the right mood to enjoy it or I was just expecting something better than Warm Bodies since the plots were a bit similar. In the end, I felt a constant lack of something that could give the movie another meaning in my mind. It was funny, romantic and all but nothing remarkable happens. So, if you’re thinking about watching it, consider leaving it to a more calm and funny night.