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Parents' Guide to

Diary of the Dead

By Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Gory zombie movie raises questions about media.

Movie R 2008 95 minutes
Diary of the Dead Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 15+

Oh Mummy!

Classic zombie movie tropes meets with the modern and very early Youtube and Myspace age.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 12+

The butt review: it is not that bad!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Romero's decision to marry an old plot and a new time is a sharp one. Part of what happens -- as in 1968's Night of the Living Dead -- is division along visible difference. The zombies change into monstrous, scabby, bloody, and slow-walking creatures; but before then, they're like us, and so carry with them emblems of their lives: golf sweaters, curlers, sneakers. At one point, a powerful, gun-toting tough guy admires film student Debra (Michelle Morgan), noting their similar hardiness and determination. This brief bit of bonding and mutual admiration goes a long way in a film so suffused with brutality and betrayal.

The fact that the first instance of zombification -- which is broadcast on TV and then uploaded to the net so it becomes "viral" -- involves a Latino family suggests that Romero is making an allusion to current questions of immigration and legality. As the monsters are soon revealed to be the very families the students seek to rejoin, the issue of who's "them" and who's "us" becomes very complicated. Smartly, the students' first-person cameras only compound the problem; some feel obligated to disseminate all available information, including terrible, uncensored imagery that constitutes a kind of "truth." Upset when they learn that cable and local news and the government weren't showing everything, the twentysomethings are moved to show the world what's really happened.

Movie Details

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