Day of the Dead (2008)

day of the dead poster 2008 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 2/10
Visuals: 3/10


Meandering, dull, poorly acted zombie horror film

Movie Info

Movie Name: Day of the Dead

Studio: Millennium Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s): April 8, 2008

MPAA Rating: R

day of the dead 2008 nick cannon mena suvari

Yep…this commands authority

A military outfit has been called in to an isolated Colorado town outside of Boulder to stop an outbreak.  Corporal Sarah Bowman (Mena Suvari) finds herself home again as she and Private Bud Crain (Stark Sands) are sent into town to investigate the spreading the disease.  When Sarah’s mother takes ill, Sarah, her brother Trevor (Michael Welch), and his girlfriend Nina (AnnaLynne McCord) head to the hospital…and they discover along with Private Salazar (Nick Cannon) and Captain Rhodes (Ving Rhames) the virus is more than they ever expected!

Directed by Steve Miner, Day of the Dead is a “remake” of George A. Romero’s 1985 film Day of the Dead.  The movie received poor reviews upon its release.

Day of the Dead was kind of George A. Romero’s untapped zombie movie.  The ideas of the film were that the world of the zombies would eventually evolve and in a last-ditch effort, the military was working with scientists to try to cure and evolve the zombie disease.  The remake of Dawn of the Dead (which some can argue is the best of Romero’s original zombie movies) actually infused new ideas with the ideas of the original film to create something fun and original.  The hope that Day of the Dead would do the same is quickly dashed as you start to watch the film.

day of the dead zombie mom


The story isn’t really a remake.  Yes, there are military people and near the end there are scientists, but it primarily is a generic zombie outbreak (which actually takes place mostly in night).  The story meanders and plots with lots of characters (not very likable at that) “fighting” for survival amongst the zombies.  Instead of continuously advancing the story and developing the characters, the plot bounces between the players until they meet at a lab where a “we built this disease” storyline is added at the last minute…it isn’t very interesting nor is it scary or surprising.

What hurts is that the movie seemed to have some money in its casting.  Granted Mena Suvari isn’t a leading star (especially in 2008), but it feels like actors cast in some of the found footage films do a better job with less experience.  This can also be said for the rest of the cast like Ving Rhames (playing a different character than his Dawn of the Dead character) and Nick Cannon.  Ian McNeice is ok as the DJ, but the character likewise has little point.

day of the dead 2008 ving rhames zombie

I spy with my zombie eye!

The movie looks like it had a so-so budget.  There is some bad computer animated “how the cells are infected” shots, but the zombies themselves are ok (they’re just typical bloody zombies).  The movie opted for the running zombies but also made them a bit like 2013’s World War Z’s zombie masses, but that film had a bigger budget and more zombies.  At one point you see a zombie crawling on the ceiling, but apparently none of the other zombies caught on.

Day of the Dead can really be missed.  It lacks the class of an actual Romero zombie movie and the innovation of the previous remake.  The movie is just bad, but it isn’t even bad in a so-bad-it-is-good type of badness.  Instead of laughing your way through Day of the Dead, you’re groaning…and the zombies are groaning with you.

Related Links:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Night of the Living Dead:  Reanimated (2009)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Day of the Dead (1985)

Land of the Dead (2005)

Diary of the Dead (2007)

Survival of the Dead (2009)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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