Genre: Zombies, Psychological
Director: Ben Wagner
Availability: Netflix Streaming
If the zombie apocalypse came and you had a safe place to stay, would you ever leave? My reply, given from the comfortable, naive cocoon of normalcy, is fuck yes. In fact, this isn't really a question for me. I can barely stand to be at home with the curtains drawn, let alone be holed up in a cabin and literally not taking a step outside in six months. Zombies be damned, that's no way to live. I'll take my chances with the biters. I'll sleep on the rooftops and bloody my hands with the slaughter, but goddamn don't you cage me.
Dead Within takes place entirely inside a two room cabin with two people. We see their daily routines, how they've held on to the small niceties of life like cleaning the house and getting dressed up for dinner. And we also see how things have changed as they go to bed fully dressed with their shoes on, weapons at their fingertips. Mike leaves Kim during the day to look for supplies. Kim finger paints the walls and talks to a painting of her cat.
There are very few zombies in this zombie movie, mostly because they aren't really the point. The movie is more about isolation and what that can start doing to a person over time. The two actors in Dead Within are terrific. They are believably melancholy, morose, hopeful and hopeless, scared, paranoid, and tender. The score here is also really great. There's this ominous dread that builds with the music but not just during the suspenseful times, it plays over the mundane scenes as well, adding tension to the entire atmosphere that sustains itself throughout every scene. They really did a lot with very little for this movie and it reminded me of a play I saw last year. Proving that talented actors and a good story will make any production a powerful one.
3 out of 5 stars