36 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Charlie Nails the Horror Genre,
This review is from: Dead Set [DVD] (DVD)
This is a review for "Dead Set" the episodes, NOT the DVD (and associated extra features) as it has not been released at the time of writing.
Dead Set is a very respectable zombie horror. It is a classic tale of a small group of isolated survivors in the face of a zombie apocalypse. Whilst this is horror/drama it does not suffer from the common affliction of taking itself too seriously. There's plenty of black humour and lighter moments as a counterpoint to the scares and gore.
The scenario borrows from Dawn of the Dead, with the survivors holed up in a secure compound (once they've dealt with the immediate threats). The twist is that the compound is the Big Brother house and the contestants are initially unaware that anything is wrong with the world outside. By the time they find out it is too late to do anything but sit tight!
Another thing this has in common with the DotD remake is that the zombies in this are "new skool" running zombies (of the type first seen in 28 Days Later). This may upset some purists who insist that all zombies should be shamblers but fits perfectly with a modern day, fast paced scenario. The speed with which the infection spreads is frightening and the undead are like a pack of ravenous animals. With shuffling zombies it's usually sheer weight of numbers that overwhelm the heroes but with the visceral, panting, lightning fast beasts they are unnerving and dangerous individually and terrifyingly deadly in a group.
Like all good zombie horrors, once the immediate danger of the undead is kept at bay, the danger then comes from internal conflict. With most of the survivors having already spent the best part of 2 months in each others' company tempers fray pretty quickly, leading to fatal consequences. Because this is the BB house the characters are mostly obnoxious, obscenely thick, gratingly annoying, utterly weird or infuriatingly arrogant (or a combination of several of those!). There is the risk that with such potentially dislikeable people as our survivors that we don't positively look forward to seeing them torn apart! However, the groups' humanity is kept intact by a few "normal" people and enough redeeming characteristics in the group as a whole to make us care about them.
The acting is mostly convincing (although a couple of characters are deliberately OTT) and whilst there are a few moments that are unintentionally funny, most of it is believable (well... as much as a zombie apocalypse is believable anyway!).
All in, this is a reputable stab at the horror genre by Charlie Brooker. There are some genuinely scary moments, a lot of tension and welcome comic relief. The prosthetics and make-up are all very convincing and gives the impression of it being much higher budget than it really is. I was going to give this 4 stars but genuinely couldn't find a reason not to give it that extra one. If you like zombies or horror then you shouldn't be disappointed.
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Oct 2008 21:05:04 GMT
D. Wright says:
Having you seen a preview of the remaining episodes ... or have you review a series without seeing all the episodes?
Posted on 3 Nov 2008 12:49:31 GMT
Posted on 4 Nov 2008 00:15:26 GMT
Mr. Philip E. Davis says:
Those fast zombies "first seen" in 28 days later, date back to a 1980 film actually.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 13:51:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Nov 2008 13:53:52 GMT
I saw the whole thing at the London Premiere so I watched all the episodes back-to-back before reviewing. (If you know who I am you can see me in it as I did a little free work as an extra to be a zombie for it... just for the joy!). If this had been terrible I would have reviewed it as such.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 13:54:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Nov 2008 13:55:21 GMT
:) I knew someone would call me out on the "fast zombies" thing! ;)
Yes, I suspected that would have been the case, so perhaps I should have written "first popularised"...
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 16:20:46 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Nov 2008 16:26:23 GMT
Karel Bata says:
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 16:58:15 GMT
No Karel Bata. Perheps someone might suggest you you were jumping to libellous accusations...if this were a court of law, of course.
I have zero affiliation with the company, writers, cast, crew or any other aspect. The production company put out a call for anyone who wanted the experience of being in a TV production because their budget did not stretch to a full zombie horde. Lots of the large crowd there were simply zombie film lovers. I found out through a friend. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, if I choose to offer my services unpaid then that's up to me.
If I had anything to hide, do you think I would have announced it here? Interesting that one of the two one-star reviewers should make unwarranted assumptions and sly accusations. As I said, if I thought this were terrible, I would have said so.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Nov 2008 18:01:46 GMT
Karel Bata says:
My apologies then.
But I still think it's disgraceful that C4 should be using unpaid extras, however keen they may be. If it were a struggling zero-budget film then fair enough, but the way Dead Set was promoted puts it way above that category and C4 has no excuse. Did you get a free DVD? You should have done.
In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2008 20:56:05 GMT
D. Wright says:
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jan 2009 10:55:14 GMT
Nope. I bought my own and have no further contact with anyone to do with this. Please stop sniping D. Wright. It's very petty.