A bullied teenager comes back from the dead to take revenge on his classmates.
Movies set in schools can be a bit too cliche at times, with the school’s social hierarchy clearly emphasized. Most of the characters are just stereotypes, but it is done subtly enough to be tolerable or even good at a stretch.
Alex Pettyfer as the charismatic bully Bradley was good enough, with a calculating mix of charisma and vitrol which meant many of the other teens at the school were under his spell and thus somehow involved in the downfall of Darren.
It was great to see Olly Alexander (of Years & Years fame) in his role as ‘nerd’ Jason who had a part to play in the demise of Darren (Calvin Dean), the bullied teenager-back-from-the-dead. Olly’s role was the only one with any memorable nuance. When Zombie Darren began to make an appearance about 45 minutes in it just felt really silly and while the makeup department for the film had obviously tried hard to make his zombie makeup look good I just couldn’t take it very seriously.
Despite the somewhat trite plot, I actually quite enjoyed this movie. It felt a bit like Final Destination or something of that ilk.It certainly exposed the sad truth of the film that there is not one sympathetic character in the whole entire film. That being said, it was better than the mediocre reviews make it out to be.
The comedy aspect of it was a bit weak as I wasn’t sure whether or not to laugh. It should’ve emphasized the other side of the film and not be played for laughs. Perhaps that could’ve worked in its favour. It showed something to be true – teenagehood is a whirlpool of angst and bitterness. Bullying is rife and it is certainly true that those at the receiving end cannot often escape it, even in the sanctuary of their own home.
All in all, its quite a competent movie. Competent, not brilliant, though. While I watched it and did not regret the hour and a half spent in this endeavour I don’t quite think I would watch it again. Yes, it was fun, but that’s it.
MY RATING: **.5 / *****