Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pretty Dead (2012)

Fear 0/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5

It's not very often you get a high concept indie film that attempts to do something different with two distinct sub-genres. Pretty Dead does just that as it uses found footage to document the story of a woman who's afflicted with a unique form of zombism. But does it succeed? Yes but mostly no. However, it's not due to the shortcomings of the concept itself.

A young couple, a paramedic and his newly made doctor girlfriend (and soon-to-be fiance), are having one last hurrah before they succumb to the demands of the 'real world.' Along with a group of friends, they take over a corner of a local bar and enjoy as many excesses as they can possibly handle (of course, one of them is documenting it via a video camera). Our young doctor takes one large snort of nose candy and becomes sick. She exists stage left to the woman's restroom and all hell breaks loose. She has to be taken to an emergency room as she's lost consciousness and the group almost loses her.

In the coming days, she's extremely lethargic and her boyfriend takes it as a side effect of being well, almost dead. But lethargy gives way to skin legions and an appetite for raw meat and other substances which are normally not consumed by humans. When she starts to bring hazardous bodily waste back home from work, things turn a bit weird for our good looking young couple.

So our doctor (and by the way, the videotaping at this point has shifted to the couple themselves who, of course, need to document EVERYTHING) does some research on her own and comes to the conclusion that she has a unique form of zombism that is brought about by a specific occurrence in nature. This occurrence, as it is explained, is plausible and it makes for the most interesting part of the film.

What makes the entire affair wholly unbelievable is not ONCE does this couple seek a medical opinion about anything that's going on. It is so odd and the couple essentially laugh off the entire proceedings (seriously) as just a new 'version' of this woman even though she's clearly not her former self. Had the couple sought out help or guidance and in their arrogance as professionals in the field of medicine ignored it, it would have made for a much more compelling film. As such, the film just came off as completely unbelievable and just downright silly. Never mind the interspersed scenes of the fiance at an asylum (in the present day) as she recounts what happened as professionals begin to diagnose her as a paranoid schizophrenic.

I appreciate that the film attempted to do something different with two sub-genres that are well worn and borderline exhausted. But there just isn't enough here to make for a good story. And not only is the acting shoddy at times, but the character's themselves (and the choices that they make) are absolutely annoying.

Cortez the Killer

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