George A Romero continues his revival of his iconic zombie franchise with Diary Of The Dead, the fifth film in a series that kicked off back in 1968 with Night Of The Living Dead. And while his latest doesn’t manage to match the heights of the earlier films, there’s still something refreshing about watching a genuine master of the genre at work.
This time around then, Diary Of The Dead heads a little back to basics, with a film that follows a group of amateur filmmakers who find themselves under siege from zombies, allowing the legendary director to take some less-than-subtle swipes at the YouTube generation. Sadly, his cast don’t help him very much, ringing in primarily forgettable performances, and this certainly nullifies some of the points that Romero tries to make.
Yet when it comes to the zombie action, there’s no number you’d call faster than Romero’s, and here’s where the great man delivers. Diary Of The Dead does work along the law of diminishing returns, and is the weakest of the series, but it’s not without a general collection of skilful moments that fans of the genre won't want to miss.
Diary Of The Dead isn’t a film that you need to have seen the others before it to appreciate, but it is a primarily quite ordinary film from an often-extraordinary director. That said, it still easily eclipses the army of imitators of recent times (the splendid zombie romantic comedy Shaun Of The Dead excepted, of course), and has more than enough horror to fill an empty night. --Jon Foster
Legendary director George A. Romero proves that his career isn't one foot in the grave with this fifth entry in his zombie series. For DIARY OF THE DEAD, Romero goes back to the indie roots of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as he focuses on a young team of filmmakers as they try to fend off zombie attacks.