HOW TO RUIN YOUR OWN MOVIE: Diary of the Dead Edition

You know what's great? When a movie takes the time to sit down and explain the message behind every event in the film, in real time, as those events are happening.

I'm not going to go into the unbelievably stupid things that every character does for the entire length of the movie, because I'd have to watch the film a second time to document them, and there's no way I'm going to be doing that, but why on earth would you make a film that flat out told you not just how it was going to end and who was going to survive, but also had the narrator pop in every five minutes to explain how heartbreaking and philosophically interesting she finds everything that's going on.

Then, at the end (don't worry, this isn't a part of the plot, it's just another awkward message shoehorned in), the film tries to recapture the horrific final images of Night of the Living Dead by showing us video of rednecks gleefully enjoying that they get to shoot zombies, and reveling in the cruelty they've gotten an opportunity to mete out.

The narrator helpfully informs us of what we’re supposed to get out of this footage, asking “Do we really deserve to survive?” Which would be a really deep and salient point, if we were judging all of humanity's value based on the actions of its basest, most worthless members.

That's like showing video footage of a rottweiler mauling a child, and then asking “Shouldn't we kill all dogs?” Well, based solely on this evidence you're offering right now, I guess so. But when you've spent the entire rest of the film making the argument that, despite rampant stupidity and occasional criminality, humans are generally decent people who care about one another and want each other to do well, then no, you haven't made your point.

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