Johnny Sweatpants reviewed this a couple of years ago, and it took me about 20 minutes in to realize, I'd seen it two years ago, too! In reading his review before sitting down to watch it, I was prepared to concede that I, too, had wasted 80 minutes of my time.
Concede I will not!
There are a couple of elements that are severely overlooked in many a zombie movie for time purposes and to maintain an obligatory "gore quota" expected of zombie movies. The first is restoring the human population through mandatory breeding -- I'm not even gonna go there. The second is a focus on the specific change of nature of human relationships. How will we communicate when flesh eating ghouls start walking the earth? Will we still argue about dinner? Are we going to debate about whose turn it is to take out the trash, or help the dog throw up the trash it ate while we were quibbling?
|"I can see why she insisted on the casserole."|
Zombie Diaries holds a lens to such a topic; indeed, there are few creatures, the effects are extremely minimal, and there is no such character that looks like the dude on the cover. Do we need a singular hero when every single person needs to fight for his or her survival? Is that a rhetorical question or what?
|Brits with guns.|
Anyway, Diaries is filled with jolly Englishmen who first dismiss the widespread infection as a hoax: "Gov'ment do wut gov'ment do, don't vey?" then later declare, when surrounded by zombies in a field, "We're just gonna 'afta go fru 'em!" The movie only started to become uncomfortable for me towards the end when you can see that not all monsters are the undead.
Overall I appreciated the low-budgetedness because it allows one to see the human relationships that succeed -- or fail -- in a time of collapse. One character mentions he was writing his dissertation when the outbreak occurred and laments, "Now I know how the families of 9/11 felt." It might seem like a poor comparison on the outside but it is the closest example the character could verbalize that you have no clue how to act or what to do when all seems to go to hell.