The Demented 2013…
“The demented is a zombie movie that takes place in Louisiana. It starts off like a typical slasher film. Six college students getting together for a weekend of debauchery. Of course that all changes when the zombies show up.”
-Bad Horror Movies
Okay let me start by saying that I sort of enjoyed this one. I am not quite sure why though. I think it was the unusual characteristics of the zombies and the way in which the zombies come to be. The acting was okay, the special effects were decent enough and the story was interesting enough to keep me going. I thought the writer / director Christopher Roosevelt did an above average job of directing.
Now here’s what I didn’t like and why. As mentioned the Christopher Roosevelt wrote and directed the movie. Though I thought his directing was pretty good, it’s the writing that keeps the film from being great. There were some things I felt Christopher Roosevelt ignored in the story that were a big mistake. There were also some things he could have done storywise to complete the story.
First mistake. Starting off with the stereo-typical characters, sensitive guy, douchebag guy and so on. Though some of the characters were given some depth there are certain beats in horror movies you need to hit. The douchebag character really, really needs to suffer. I have said this before, I will say it again. When you have the bad guy or one of the characters assigned to be the douchebag, it requires an epic death. The character needs to realize his douchery is the reason that he is about to die and then he needs to die, as I said, in an epic fashion. You cheat the audience when this isn’t done. The film should treat each character’s death according to their “characteristics” and give them the death they deserve. These deaths need to have an impact.
Second mistake. The deaths aren’t very creative. I can accept this if the story is interesting an is providing me with information along the way. When I am not being fed information in a horror movie then I need to be seeing some well done gore, preferably not CGI. I don’t think I am alone in seeing it that way. If you can have both, great. But, we need at the very least, one or another.
Third mistake. There are questioned the film raises that are never answered. Maybe I am expecting too much from a zombie movie but I don’t think so. The zombies in this film have a characteristic not seen before in other zombie films. At least I haven’t seen it before. One of the reasons I was enjoying the film was looking forward to finding out why. Why the zombies acted the way they did. Why what happened to cause the infection, happened? (I am trying to explain the problems without giving away specific storylines.) Is what led to the spread of the virus happening elsewhere?
Forth mistake. Stupidity. I hate character stupidity, there wasn’t too much of it and that’s a good thing but there was one moment that I saw coming. It was just so obvious and I wanted to reach the screen and slap the character. It’s seen where the whole gang is driving away from the zombies. I figure they are going to crash because changes are if they make to the road blocks we’ve told about, that they will be shot or something. The simplistic, way to avoid this is to have them crash and be stranded someplace again.
Sure enough the driver starts taking his eyes off the road. It’s stupid! It’s one thing to look away for second while driving, this dumbass looks to the passenger for what seemed like a minute. It was so stupid, it took me out of the movie again. And, that’s never a good thing. You want your audience to follow allow, it’s that whole suspension of disbelief thing. You lose the audience when your characters do really stupid things. He finally looks forward, not because he’s driving a fucking car during the zombie apocalypse and should be watching the road. His girlfriend in the front seat notices the zombie in the road and screams. Now instead of just driving over the zombie, he swerves and then crashes. Stupid.
Fifth mistake. The ending. It sucked. Another pet peeve of mine, bad endings. I don’t care how creative you think you are, if your ending sucks the movie isn’t going to do well. You can have the best movie ever and then ruin it completely with a shit ending. This ending made no sense at all. We are watching this movie unfold in present day. Then suddenly at the end one of the survivors drifts off into a daydream? The ending just wasn’t done well.
Sixth mistake. The ending again. I understand the desire some filmmakers have to go with negative endings. The risk however is pissing off the audience if it’s not done right. When you spend 90 minutes or more getting to know characters and you kill everyone or kill some of main characters at the end it leaves people like me thinking, thanks for wasting my time about story that didn’t matter. For example, if everyone dies at the end of the movie and none of the characters had any impact on the world around them, then our whole time watching the film has just been wasted. Nothing was learned, nothing was gained.
This type of ending is only effective under a very few circumstances. Say a character finds a cure for the infections and then is killed. That can work. I personally hate these types of endings but if done well, I can deal with it. But, if I just spent 90 minutes living with these people and everyone dies or the main character dies and their death is meaningless, then so becomes the movie.
For this reason, I am on the bubble here. It’s not a bad movie. Though I did read someones review of it and they shit all over this movie. I had just finished watching it, and his review made me like this movie even more because he was so off base and so angry. I look forward to seeing Christopher Roosevelt’s upcoming movie Necrosis hopefully later this year (2015). I think he has some good ideas and a lot of potential.
Cast of Characters:
Kayla Ewell … Taylor
Richard Kohnke … David
Ashlee Brian … Brice
Brittney Alger … Naomi
Sarah Butler … Sharley
Michael Welch … Howard