The Dead

  • Year:2010
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Jonathan Ford, Howard J. Ford
  • Cast:David Dontoh, Rob Freeman, Prince David Osei
  • Release Date:October 20, 2011
  • Distributor:Hopscotch
  • The Film:4.5

“...impressively original...”

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The Dead proves that something impressively original can yet be brought forth from the zombie genre. An independent feature from English brothers Howard and Jon Ford, it was largely filmed on location in Burkina Faso and Ghana, with a sizeable cast of local extras. Rarely has a zombie film been shot in such striking landscape. The decision to shoot this sort of scenario in a region that continues to experience violent upheaval was an interesting one: a superimposition of fiction over reality that contributes to the film's convincing atmosphere. Though certain scenes have a genuine sense of chaos and urgency, The Dead is not designed as an adrenaline hit; like the best films in the genre it's essentially about self-reliance and survival.

The perfectly pitched performances of leads Rob Freeman and Prince David Osei mix stoicism with weary resignation. The ever-present undead have a calm, matter-of fact demeanour that is somehow more convincing than the rabid ferocity of other depictions. There's little dialogue and no unnecessary noise. Imran Ahmad's African-themed score is a perfect complement to the strangely meditative mood of this beautiful, horrific work.

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