Written by El Fangorio
More of a remake than a sequel, Diary of the Dead starts off the same way Night of the Living Dead did 40 years ago: for no apparent reason, the dead have started to rise and are attacking and eating the living. A small group of kids from the University of Pittsburgh are out making a student horror film when this phenomenon occurs. All of them stereotypes, from the self-absorbed director to the big-breasted blonde that wants to be taken seriously, to the tech geek with thick horn-rimmed glasses, to the tough-as-nails heroine (always a brunette with long hair). All of them assholes. Not a likeable character in the bunch. Did I mention the Olde English buzzkill of a professor that they run around with? He quotes Dickens (I kid you not) and when choosing weapons, prefers a bow and arrow to a gun. He’s also quite adept with a broadsword. It’s not long before they are on the road, trying to figure out what’s happening, all the while filming it for the Internet. Because when your dead grandma is out in the backyard, trying to eat the dog, the first place you run to for answers is Myspace. It’s this caliber of WTF ineptness that runs rampant throughout the course of the film. Beware. The groaning you hear is probably your own.
Shooting an entire film in first-person POV only works when it’s plausible that somebody would actually be filming the footage. Nobody would ever hold on to a camera, up to their eye no less, all the while there are zombies attacking. It’s one thing to choose to film the things coming after you but to sit back and capture the footage of it eating your friends and loved ones instead of friggin’ helping them is not only cruel but just plain improbable. Even the makers of Cloverfield knew to acknowledge a camera strap that would hold the camera at your side (albeit changing the angle drastically) so that you can flee in terror like a normal person These assholes just keep on filming and then justify it by saying that “it’s addictive. You can’t put the camera down.” Let me see that camera please.
I understand the reason the cast is young is because they are all amateur filmmakers and what other way are you going to explain a large group of people (read: douchebags) with camera equipment, but come on. I would have gladly let it slide had it been a bunch of geriatrics at an in-home “how to film your grandkids” session when it hits the fan, or hell, just a bunch of people who just happen to own video cameras. It could happen. Watching these young, attractive idiots only makes me realize why so many of the generation above me hated slasher films. On that note, had this film been done without pretension, it would have just been a “zombie vs. teenagers” thing, which would have been just fine in my book of low standards.