After the original 1968 George A. Romero independent horror film classic, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, slipped into a public domain status after distributor of the film, The Walter Reade Organization, had failed to post a copyright status statement on the prints of the original film as required by copyright law standards, it became open season for both unauthorized videotapes as well as DVDs and BluRay discs of the film. But, some film producers have taken this even a step further by producing their own sequels to the film. The latest sequel to this film comes from the UK and takes place in North Wales, where a family living in a little country estate finds themselves attempting to survive the latest zombie plague in this latest reboot of the series that seems much like a moderate budgeted simple horror film much in the style of the original film.
But, the 2012 reboot of the series also has the strange twist where the family also finds two family members already infected as well as having to fight off a violent gang of sociopath teenagers as well as their survivalist fathers and relatives. In previous NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD films, all normal humans fought together as allies against the zombie threat. In an especially violent, as well as totally unnecessary segment, the gang of teenage hoodlums forces the elder father of the family off the road and tortures him to death in a horrible manner by crushing his legs to a near pulp using his own automobile and then dumps his lifeless body outside the family’s home. No reason is ever given for this much a hate crime against this old man, but it’s a pretty disgusting distraction from the battle for survival against the zombies, and only further reduces this family by yet another member as family members fall one by one to this zombie plague.
No doubt many fans of the true George A. Romero line of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD films will be disappointed here, although this 2012 reboot does present a new story of struggle against the zombie plague, and using the countryside of England as a location. The movie does have both good and bad elements, sometimes being so graphic and over-the-top violent as well as disgusting.
The film does certainly pay a homage to the original 1968 film in many ways, as well as presenting yet another hopeless struggle against the zombie plague.
The bottom line: A flawed and imperfect film, but it has some good moments of presenting a fair reboot and a homage to the 1968 original George A. Romero classic. **1/2 stars(Two and a half stars, a little better than fair. Rent or buy this film at your risk. It’s deeply disturbing and certainly not for everyone, including many zombie genre fans who may feel disappointed as well).