Diary of the Dead (2007)

diary of the dead poster 2007 movie
5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 6/10

Nice use of social media to modernize Night of the Living Dead

Poor acting, not much of a story, pretentious voice over monologues that are meant to sound deep

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Diary of the Dead

Studio:  Artfire Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s): September 8, 2007 (Toronto International Film Festival)/February 15, 2008 (US)

MPAA Rating:  R

diary of the dead shock paddles zombie

She needs a catchphrase…like “Eat lighting, zombie scum!”

The Dead are walking the Earth and a group of college students shooting a horror film find themselves stuck in the middle of the horror. When Jason (Joshua Close) refuses to stop shooting because of the historical significance of the events going on, he records the horror that he and his friends experience. As Jason and his friends try to find their families and other survivors, they face zombies and threats from humans.

Directed by George Romano, Diary of the Dead is a found-footage film survival zombie film.  Following Land of the Dead in 2005, the film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and was released in the United States in 2008.  The film was met with mixed to negative reviews.

diary of the dead zombie mummy

Are you my mummy?

Diary of the Dead is a prequel that has been modernized to fit with current times. Night of the Living Dead was set in 1968, but Diary of the Dead (which is supposed to be the start of the outbreak) is set in 2007.  One fun aspect of all the media in the film is that Quentin Tarantino, Simon Pegg, Stephen King, Wes Craven, and Guillermo del Toro all provide voice-overs for broadcasts.

I am kind of sad that the storyline set-up in Land of the Dead wasn’t followed. A movie with intelligent zombies could have been interesting. A relaunch and retro-fit to the story might be kind of necessary at this point, but it also is being done with the new Dawn of the Dead so it feels a bit unnecessary since you could almost consider it a part of this line.

diary of the dead severed head zombie ending

Oh no! Her ears are still attached and she still has to hear your monologue prattle…

Diary of the Dead follows the “found footage” style popularized by films like The Blair Witch Project. The movie unfortunately suffers from the found footage curse of trapped in the format with so-so actors in their attempt to find more natural actors…add the weak acting with really bad (and pretentious) voice-over monologues, and you’re in trouble.  The idea that the internet becomes a source of news after the apocalypse is great, but I also kind of wonder if servers would still function.

Diary of the Dead does change the style of the Dead films which I guess is commendable in a long franchise.  That does not necessary make it good, and it definitely does not make it better. It is interesting that Diary of the Dead is the first “Dead” film to have a true sequel. The survivors encounter a group of soldiers who rob them. Their story is told in the follow-up film Survival of the Dead which was released in 2009.

Related Links:

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Day of the Dead (1985)

Land of the Dead (2005)

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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