Beautifully written and directed by the Ford brothers, Howard and Jonathan Ford, The Dead stars two excellent actors who perform understated against extraordinary circumstances. First we meet Brian Murphy, played by Rob Freeman (Saving Private Ryan) who survives a plane crash though his comrades meet an untimely fate... you guessed it... zombies! These brain suckers are everywhere. They may only be about as fast as your grandmother but they sure are persistent. I did wonder though, without brains, how they kept from falling off the edge of cliffs.
Murphy comes across another survivor, Sergeant Daniel Dembele, a deserter from the army in search of his family and son. Played by a real African Prince, David Osei does a wonderful job playing it real and that's what makes this movie work. No matter how insane things get, these two survivors are very natural and believable.
The rest of the movie pretty much revolves around survival, the search for food and water, keeping the jeep running, and assorted challenges along the way, including a curveball of a baby of all things. But the main rule of the movie is that no matter how safe you think you are, they are coming and coming... relentlessly to eat your flesh. Talk about sleeping with one eye open.
As a footnote, it's important to mention that actor Rob Freeman almost wound up 'dead' himself when he contacted malaria in West Africa. One scene was even shot with Freeman in the throes of fever. There were other challenges the cast and crew faced in Africa including corrupt police and being held up at knife point. Seemed zombies were the least of their problems.
But the result were worth it and The Dead has a grand sweeping Lawrence of Arabia vibe -- in between spurts of blood and exploding heads.
If classy horror is your thing, and I discovered with The Dead it happens to be mine, run to see this movie. Just watch out for the zombies... they are right behind you.
5 out of five corpses