A Disappointingly Bad Film
With so many zombie films out there, it was always going to be hard for Day Of The Dead: Bloodline to stand out. Bloodline does stand out though, but for all the wrong reasons. Full of illogical character choices, poor acting and disappointing visual effects, Day Of The Dead: Bloodline is a poorly made zombie film that feels like a budget flick, despite the respectable budget of 8 million this film somehow uses.
The story joins Zoe (Sophie Skelton) five years prior to the apocalyptic world we spend most of the film’s run time exploring. It’s here we see the first outbreak of a deadly virus that sees the dead rise and begin eating the living. Flash forward to present day and a monotonous voice-over tells us the world has been ravaged by the virus with only a few pockets of human survivors left at the hands of “rotters” (zombies). This should weigh heavily on any decisions made by the characters and whilst exploring a nearby town for resources is not such a bad idea, deciding to study zombies and take on live samples in a small underground settlement is. This plot line forms the bulk of the story and the incredulous decisions made by Zoe that put everyone in the base in danger make it really hard to empathise with her when things do inevitably go bad.
Considering the budget, the film looks surprisingly cheap. Scenes that should be set at night are inconsistently lit; bright swathes of white outside juxtapose dark shadows and flashlight lit corridors inside buildings. The gore feels ripped right out of an 80s horror with bursts of blood exploding high in the air. Guns lack any sort of kick to them and late on a big gunfight feels lacklustre because of this. These production and visual choices all detract from the overall appeal of the film and bring some serious questions around exactly what the money was used on in a title that feels like its been made on a shoestring budget.
All of these flaws could be forgiven if the characters were likeable or featured strong performances, which they don’t. If anything, this is actually the biggest problem with Bloodline. The actors stand awkwardly in scenes with no chemistry toward one another reading their lines as if the words are alien to them. Zoe is woeful as the lead protagonist and her bursts of sporadic emotion only highlight how bland and emotionless the rest of her performance is. The supporting cast aren’t much better either and the acting prowess in the film ranges from passable to outright bad. It’s so poor in fact that it damages what little appeal the story has. Despite the cliched and unoriginal plot line, there is at least a structure to it which is more than can be said for the character actions.
It’s not all bad though, and the camera work and composition are surprisingly good. There’s a nice variety of angles used and whether it be sweeping aerial crane shots or uncomfortable close ups, the direction for how the film is shot is at least adept. Its a shame then that pretty much every other part of this film is so disappointing as this is one area that doesn’t come up short.
Day Of The Dead: Bloodline is not a good film. The bland, emotionless acting coupled with the illogical character choices make it hard to root for anyone but the zombies. The visual effects feel cheap despite the budget used to make the film but at least the camera work is solid throughout which helps slightly. With so many zombie films out there, its hard to recommend Bloodline to anyone, even the die-hard fans of this genre. This disappointing budget flick has no redeeming features and is unlikely to be remembered for very long.