This Monday just gone I went to see M R Carey’s novel brought to life on the big screen. Or maybe brought to death however you want to put it.
I had such high hopes for this film, ever since I knew Glen Close was going to play Caldwell- which was such a good casting- I couldn’t wait to get my ticket.
Oh, oh oh… Colm McCarthy what did you do to it..
Now the book for me was fast paced, punchy, delivered the right amount of realism- to post-realism and had edgy characters which you sympathised with even though sometimes they were dicks.
For the film… you didn’t have enough time to sympathise? Not with the Sargent anyway, who really was just boring and aggressive. I didn’t think Gemma Arterton did a good job of Miss Justineau, I didn’t like the casting for her in the first place – I wanted Sonequa Martin-Green but hey life doesn’t always go your way.
The girl who played Melanie was so god damn annoying. I hated her voice, how long she spoke for, her way of moving – I just didn’t like it and it distracted me sometimes from the plot.
The ‘hungries’ in the book were something to be frightened of but in the film, I didn’t like their animation – they way they snapped their mouths, that was all that changed them from normal human beings (and the popcornesque make up on their faces). The one scene I did like with them was at the compound when Selkirk is winding down the shutters and as the audience member you can see the hungry sprinting to that window and you know that the shutter isn’t going fast enough. I think to have that instead of the standard jump scare or if Selkirk knew it was going to happen that it had a really big impact with that as a moment. It was better than the book (as that went for the jump scare)
The sound mixing needed more work, the music was too loud – and after a while so annoying, my ears couldn’t take it and a lot of people in the screening were also holding their hands to their ears – it was too much and again detracted from the moments on screen.
The plot seemed so slow in the film, we dawdled here, we dawdled there – and the acting (apart from Glenn Close) was awful (sorry Gemma) I was ashamed to have bigged it up to my partner and making her go. It wasn’t worth it.
They also played the gore, it was unneeded and just used for a nothing else but the gore factor. Oh look at us, doing a zombie film – better make it so gory the audience will feel sick. It made the prettier, profound moments later on in the film fall flat. TWD which I love does gore better, you have the shock and then it’s gone – and it feels needed. Where as the gore in this was just…. ergh. I thought I had a high tolerance but this just proved that I didn’t- and it was pushed way too far.
So in this instance, Novel= 1 Film -0. Go see it for a crazily settled Glenn Close and shit child acting. Go see it if you want gore galore and weird head snapping zombies. But if you want a fast paced zombie film – stay at home.