Kill the Head

The Dead Don't Die Review

The Dead Don't Die poster

It’s truly a great time to be a horror fan. Over the last few years especially, the genre all of us have loved for so long has been reaching more and more people. An entirely new audience is being subjected to countless TV shows, films, and other horror content, something I would have never imagined just a decade ago. With that new reach comes new ideas from filmmakers. Some are hit, some are miss. Read on to see where Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die fits into spectrum.

The Plot

Even though authorities deny it, polar fracking has caused some major changes to the Earth’s axis. In turn, the days are longer, clocks, phones, and other technology seem to just have stopped working, and oh yeah, the dead have been re-animated!

My Thoughts

I remember first hearing of Jim Jarmusch’s new zombie film a while back and after watching the trailer, I knew I just had to see it. I thought the cast included tons of recognizable faces and I could not wait to see the next best zombie comedy.

Fast forward a couple of months, I have missed my opportunity to see the film during its theatrical run. Still eager to give it a watch though, I was able to get my hands on a copy of the home release and didn’t hesitate to press play almost immediately.

The Dead Don’t Die is almost what I expected it to be. There is certainly tons of talent on display throughout the film’s 104 minutes with the ensemble cast consisting of Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Zombieland), Adam Driver (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens), Chloe Sevigny (Kids, American Psycho), Steve Buscemi (Reservoir Dogs, Fargo), Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon, Saw), and way more names/faces than I can even remember.

Even with Billy Murray’s on-screen presence and the comedic tones created by Jarmusch, something is still missing. Perhaps it is the type of humor that is sprinkled throughout the script, an overly self-referential style, that took me out of it.

Now, that is just my personal opinion, but it also seems to be the same opinion of the few negative reviews I have seen over the last few months for The Dead Don’t Die.

If we strip out the comedic characteristics of this 2019 zom-com, we are still left with a pretty decent entry into the undead side of horror.

It takes a bit for the zombies to show up, but once they do, we see that Jarmusch and his team spared no expenses to bring the audience some pretty impressive looking walking corpses. The practical effects used to make up each zombie is almost second-to-none and the digital visual effects used for the dispatching of said zombies is also done extremely well.

Writer and director, Jim Jarmusch, who is not new to filmmaking by any means, is not just trying to bring us laughs and thrills, however. There is also an underlying message spread throughout that relates to a whole lot of things going on in today’s society.

Comparing the people of today with their addictions to technology, among other things, to massive hordes of ghouls isn’t anything new. Quite frankly, I feel like it has been done too often. Even still, Jarmusch is able to put his own flavor on things, making for a decent story nonetheless.

The Verdict

While The Dead Don’t Die isn’t quite as good as I had originally expected, it is still worth everyone’s time, at least for one watch. It has its own brand of comedy, a talented cast of veteran actors, and an overall top-notch quality that we don’t get to see in horror films very often.

If you would like to give The Dead Don’t Die a watch of your own, it is currently available on Digital. It will also be available on Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, September 10, from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

The home release contains some brief interviews with the cast and crew and some other behind-the-scenes looks at the filming of the picture.

I give The Dead Don’t Die 3 dead hipsters from Cleveland out of 5.

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