Ahh zombies. You can’t turn around these days without seeing one of these beloved creatures on something or other. On a shelf, on TV, in a book, on a poster, on a tee-shirt, etc. they are everywhere. Why do we love zombies? I for one don’t think it’s about the actual Zombies. I think people enjoy the thought of chaos that’s depicted in these types of films. A world where you don’t have to get up for work, where you have to explore and hunt for your survival. A place where just living would be a daily adventure, an escape from the mundane lives that we live. I strongly doubt our love of zombies stem from wanting our loved ones turning into hideous creatures that want to eat us, that’s just me.
The Returned is a movie so realistic that I was immediately sucked in to it. The story follows Kate a doctor who helps returned patients, people who have been exposed to the zombie virus but is being held dormant by a drug that has to be taken daily to avoid the person turning. Kate is married and deeply in love with Alex, who is a Returned patient. When supplies of the drug start running low, problems arise. The Returned are desperate for the drug and society is frightened of what might happen if all the Returned change. This is really a tale of what people will do as a society when they are frightened of the unknown. It’s a realistic take at what lengths people would take to protect themselves and their loved ones, whether it be betrayal or murder.
Though there are only two zombies in the movie, the exceptional script by Hatem Khraiche never let’s you forget what kind of world we are in. The story is filled with great character development, an intriguing plot with twists and turns and some great setups with great pay offs.
Directed by Manuel Carballo, The Returned is shot beautifully. There are not a lot of quick cuts or shaky camera shots, as in most horror flicks. instead Carballo moves the camera slowly and delicately, which brings that much more intimacy to the viewer. There is one dolly shot towards the end (which I don’t want to reveal) that is one of the best shots I have seen in a long while.
That cast comprising of Kris Holden-Ried as Alex and Emily Hampshire as Kate are brilliant. Their chemistry together is fresh and heartbreaking at the same time. There are many emotional peaks in this film by both characters and they don’t hold anything back.
If you go into this movie looking for Day Of The Dead, you are going to be disappointed. If you are looking for an emotional ride within the Zombie mythology you will be pleasantly surprised. This is one, if not the best film I have seen so far in 2014 and should not be missed.
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