Not to be confused with the Diary of the Dead (the last sucktastic film directed by George Romero), The Zombie Diaries follows in the same vein of 28 Days Later. In style, shot and execution, this grainy film centers on the intermingling stories of three groups of people that travel the countryside in England, as the country faces a viral outbreak and legions of the undead begin to roam about.
The film is set-up with a group of reporters that have escaped the city and are attempting to meet up with a farmer who claims to know how the outbreak started. The group gets to his farmhouse and can find no one that answers at the home or anyone in the surrounding village. The same sort of isolated type of fear as 28 Days Later (think the openining scene where Cillian Murphy's character wakes up, stumbles out of the hospital, and through downtown London) is conveyed here, as they walk through the town and then head back to the farmhouse. They enter the house and stumble upon a zombie who's feasting on the remains of one of the inhabitants of the home. This is pretty much the only shot in the film that instilled any sort of shock or fear and it was executed quite nicely.
The rest of the film hops around, exploring the experiences of 2 other groups. You have numerous casts of characters within the groups, non more annoying than the 3rd with its pseudo gangster (as in rap) pair of dudes that are the more irrational type that want to take control of the situation with their straps because, afterall, they're gangster right? Anyways, I suppose my main point is that the real problem that plagues the film throughout the rest of the running time, is its lack of focus on the actual people involved. Because there is no real character development (albeit, its on a very superficial level) it becomes really hard to give two shits when one of them is killed by a group of flesh eating, walking corpses.
When the film ended, on an OK but not surprising note, I just shrugged my shoulders and turned off the DVD. Certainly not the worst zombie movie I've ever seen but its definitely not one I will ever go back to again. Overall, a very boring flick that had loads of potential and in the end, it just plain fell flat on its face.
Cortez the Killer