Thursday, August 8, 2013

State Of Emergency Isn't Just Another Zombie Movie


Synopsis taken from IMDb
Chaos consumes a small town when a chemical facility explodes a deadly toxin. Moments after the leak, the town's residents show signs of mutation, causing the military to quarantine the area leaving any survivors helpless inside. The story follows Jim, a young man isolated within the red zone, as he eludes flesh eating zombies in an attempt to win back his freedom. 

Even though this movie was made in 2011, it's just now released. So technically it's a 2013 film. Same as the upcoming horror film "You're Next", which was also filmed two years ago and is just now coming out. This film, however, is actually on Netflix instant. That's how I stumbled upon it!

From the go, I had low expectations. I wasn't expecting too much from this film at all. In my mind, I instantly saw another bad zombie movie written all over it. I had nothing else to do, and it was late, so I figured what the hell. My mentality was that if it's bad enough, it'll just put me to sleep, and I love sleep. So I watched it anyway.

You can tell from the opening of the film that it's not made on a very large budget (estimated $1,300,000) but that doesn't always stop a movie from being good, so I try and not judge cinema by that alone. After about five minutes in, it appeared to me that my initial judgement on the film was wrong, and that this may actually be something special. So no, I didn't fall asleep. I did however, have to continue it the next night because I was so tired the night before. The point is, I actually stopped it to resume later as opposed to letting it play and sleeping through it. I guess you can say it hooked me.

First off, the acting does suffer a bit, but it's very good for a low-budget film. Jay Hayden isn't the strongest of actors, but he does a very descent job of holding up this movie, with the whole film being about his character Jim.

If it sounds like I'm over praising this, let me back it up a bit and clearly state that, this is in no way a perfect movie. As I mentioned above, some of the acting suffers, as well as there's some forced and unnecessary dialog. There's also editing flaws throughout the film. I'm openly stating that this film is not a masterpiece. It is however, one of the few films that stand out in the zombie genre amongst the abundance made. Even though the zombie scene is exhausted in almost every way by now, "State of Emergency" offers it's own goodies.

One of them being that, there's actually a happy ending, and get this, they actually have a cause for what caused the sickness to spread! As opposed to the ever so popular "we don't know what caused the outbreak" cop out.

Another thing that this film lacks is some deep layered character development. It doesn't seem we ever get past the "woe is me and it's the end of the world" theme. I would have liked to go in deep with some solid character story. That would have put this movie over, and it's a shame it wasn't included. Coulda woulda shoulda, right? 

This movie barely makes it over the mediocre line, but ultimately it does cross the line. I didn't mind the way the zombies looked, but again, another aspect that could have stood out, but really doesn't. The fact that this movie keeps you intrigued enough to watch through the end is the most complimentary thing I can say. It falls into the middle of the zombie pack, but far from top and further from the bottom.

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