A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Day of the Dead: Bloodline is a horror movie about a zombie apocalypse. So you can expect tons of gory violence: dismemberment, disembowelment, cannibalism, face-eating, buckets of blood, and much more. There's also a rape attempt and sexual intimidation, plus strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "d--k") and teasing near-nudity. But the film isn't well-enough made for any of these to carry a lasting impact on most viewers old enough to handle the gruesome imagery.
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What's the story?
In DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE, medical student Zoe (Sophie Skelton), her military boyfriend (Marcus Vanco), and his tightly wound brother are among the denizens of a bunker complex five years after the zombie apocalypse hits. Zoe is horrified to encounter the zombified version of her attempted rapist, Max (Johnathon Schaech), from before the plague. But she believes that because Max has maintained some human characteristics, he might be the key to a vaccine. Still, this is a zombie movie, so every stupid thing that could possibly be done is done, and all hell breaks loose in the compound.
Is it any good?
It's a chore to find things to recommend about this film. Perhaps worst of all, it bills itself as a "reimagining" of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead, while bearing no substantial connection whatsoever to that 1985 movie. Both films have fortified bunkers and a zombie on a chain, but that's about it. Where Romero's film clearly tried to explore issues of humanity, Bloodline explores nothing but the bargain aisle at Bloodbags "R" Us. It's an ultra-low-budget affair in which, five years after the apocalypse has struck, uniforms, vehicles, and a bunker full of refugees are still spick and span. And fortunately for Zoe's boyfriend (or unfortunately), hipster haircuts seem to have survived the fall of civilization. The movie has zero scares despite many absurdly staged startles. You care so little for the characters that, honestly, when one of them goes to retrieve a keg from a morgue freezer and is attacked by monsters and runs, you're left thinking, "You left the beer!"
Of course, you have to check your appetite for logic at the door when watching a flick like this, but must characters actually do the stupidest possible thing in nearly every scene? Here they are, driving in their Humvees through zombie territory ... and dreamily sticking their arms out the windows. Here's the supposedly smart medical student leaving her armed escort to explore alone. Here are the soldiers, needing blood from a "living" zombie, after we've just established that their hearts don't work anymore, trying to let monsters in "one at a time" through the main gate, instead of simply trapping one against the chain-link fence and making their unauthorized withdrawal that way. With so little brainpower invested in the film's logic, imagine how much less was put into character development. Zoe's unforgivable foolishness leads directly to characters dying, and she never expresses a shred of remorse. The high-strung commander, who's clearly supposed to be a villain, at least keeps trying to stop these idiotic plans. You know a film has gone awry when the "crazy military guy" is actually right about everything and the heroine scientist actually does cause all the trouble. At least Bloodline's zombies are of the running variety. That's something.
Talk to your kids about ...
When you watch horror movies, are you more or less scared when characters do dumb things that get them killed? Why?
Does it matter to you whether the world of a film seems real or not? How does realism affect how scared or moved you are by a film?
- In theaters: January 5, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: February 6, 2018
- Cast: Sophie Skelton, Johnathon Schaech
- Director: Hèctor Hernández Vicens
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Horror
- Topics: Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: bloody violence and gore, language and brief sexuality/nudity
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