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Review: Pretty Dead (directed by Benjamin Wilkins)

Pretty Dead (directed by Benjamin Wilkins)
03.30.2012by: Andre Manseau
8 10

PLOT: Regina Stevens is your average gal, except we find out that she murdered and ate 4 other dudes. Here's what we know- she went to a party one night and had a strange reaction to some cocaine. She feels worse than the average cocaine user though and seems to be developing symptoms that are worse. She's turning into a zombie.

REVIEW: This found footage film involves the slow turn of a seemingly normal person into a zombie as documented by her and her husband. It's led by Carly Oates as Regina, and you're left wondering whether she's a nut, or if something is somehow devouring her brain and turning her into a flesh-craving zombie. Oates' performance is transcendant and a real star maker. She is totally believable as a normal person, and as you watch her slow transformation you'll recoil. This is a serious, tour-de-force performance that absolutely sells the film.

Her husband Ryan (Ryan Shogren) is along for the ride as her helpful fiance who ends up caught on the bad end of a terrible situation. It's hard not to feel bad for him as things go from somewhat funny to downright tragic and he's along for the ride. The story is actually one of love and loss. It's tough to watch Regina do the cocaine when her boyfriend is against it, and witness the reprecussions of it as Regina is stealing body parts from the hospital where she works. Things spiral out of control, as Ryan can't seem to help her and no medical treatments begin to work. Their relationship is key, and is completely believable and very real.

While the effects aren't great, they're certainly creative at times and will likely win you over. Hell, at least it's not awful CGI throughout. I don't want to spoil too much more about this film, but know that it's absolutely worth your time and a different take on the zombie genre that isn't too goofy or over the top to be enjoyed. Watching Regina develop her powers while her beauty fades is actually an emotional and powerful ride that is comes off in a far more three dimensional way than you might expect. Would you believe your significant other if they told you they thought they were turning into a zombie?

Again, not to overstate it, but I really enjoyed this flick. It took me by surprise, and features great performance despite having a very low budget. Strangely enough, it even feels believable. If you can find it, I recommend it wholeheartedly.

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