The Dead Don’t Die : ‘Cannes’ Review – A peculiarly disappointing attempt at deadpan
“The Dead Don’t Die is a peculiarly disappointing attempt at deadpan.”
A horror comedy that lacks the latter with a bare-boned attempt at the former, The Dead Don’t Die is a peculiarly disappointing attempt at deadpan which unfortunately doesn’t come alive until Tilda Swinton rears her beautiful head.
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Two cops, played by Bill Murray and Adam Driver, tackle a zombie apocalypse caused by the unusual activity of the earth’s poles. This is all thanks to the selfish actions of energy corporations fracking said areas and now, with the help of Chloë Sevigny, they must battle these zombies – the only issue is, the dead just don’t seem to want to die.
I went into this one pretty much blind and still left with more questions than when I entered. I find this particular brand of humor one that can be really special and the delivery from a katana-wielding Scottish funeral home worker Zelda (Tilda Swinton) was fantastic – just the right amount of strange likeability. However, everyone else seems to confuse deadpan, strange caricatures and charming bizarreness with paint-by-numbers monotony.
I don’t know if I can blame Adam Driver or Bill Murray for their badly orchestrated characters because it seemed obvious that the direction they were given was to perform with a mind-numbing dullness in order to create a juxtaposition between horror and un-reactiveness. It unfortunately just winds up being incredibly boring, some moments do work, yes, but the majority of the time I was left there wondering if the script was more of just an instruction manual on what to say and when.
Little parts here and there stop this from becoming a complete waste of screening, the zombies were fantastic and actually very amusing. Stupid … vicious … but also quite human. It’s just a shame that this overall didn’t amount to anything, deadpan is about having an exotic environment with extremely unbothered characters and I don’t think this film gets that you can’t tip that in favor of an extremely unbothered narrative.