Horror has seen a fantastic resurgence lately. From television to theaters, everywhere you turn there’s something horrific to watch. Unfortunately — at least for lovers of the genre — not everything is always gold. What one person may obsess over — The Walking Dead — others may find a complete bore. If there’s anywhere horror has a good reputation is internationally. Not being hampered by the MPAA and able to conjure up some of the all-time best splatterfests around — see Peter Jackson’s early works Bad Taste and Braindead (aka Dead Alive) for prime examples — I was hoping for something better than what co-writer/director Valentín Javier Diment has conjured up in his zombie offering Memory of the Dead.
Here we find Alicia (Lola Berthet) waking up from a horrible nightmare involving her husband Jorge’s (Gabriel Goity) death. When she wakes up to tell him about it, she finds out that he has died during the night. Alicia gathers Jorge’s best friends at her house to reminisce and pay their respects. Included are Hugo (Luis Ziembrowski), Nicanor (Matías Marmorato), Mauro (Rafael Ferro), Fabiana (Jimena Anganuzzi), Mónica (Lorena Vega), and Ivana (Flora Gró). Everyone offers a wide variety of friendship to Jorge; from ex-lovers to a cousin to a childhood friend. Everyone that is, except Ivana, the one outcast amongst the group. Once Ivana’s deceased daughter shows up outside and kills her, the group discover that the dead are coming back to haunt them and there may be an even more dangerous game afoot once Alicia’s ulterior motives begin to take shape.
While there is a lot of blood and guts strewn about through the quick 89-minute runtime, Memory of the Dead is never as much fun as director Diment is hoping. There are also no special features aside from a theatrical trailer and trailers for additional Artsploitation Films: Hidden in the Woods, Horror Stories, Toad Road, and Wither. While wearing his Dario Argento inspirations on his sleeve, not even the surprise ending is enough to make up for the rest of the film. The cast overacts through every scenario, never grounding things into even its own reality. Armed with three co-writers (Martín Blousson, Nicanor Loreti, and Germán Val), you’d think they’d be able to come up with more entertaining ways to dispatch their victims. Alas, it’s all just a way to string along the plot to the big reveal which is about the only thing that leaves an impression; the title is all you’re bound to remember.