Made for only $75 dollars (yes, $75!), the British production premiered with much critical and audience fanfare at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. While the budgetary restraints certainly made for great publicity fodder, they were not the driving force behind the accolades. This small film that came out of nowhere to present zombie horror in a new way — through the eyes of the shambling, walking dead.
And it was scary.
Via shaky, hand-held camerawork, Colin follows its eponymous antihero, who succumbs to a lethal zombie bite and reanimates at the film’s onset, as he wanders a London overrun by the flesh-hungry undead. The longer he walks (and eats), the more bits and pieces of his former life reveal themselves amongst the carnage.
This ingenious new perspective breaks with many zombie films that focus solely on survivors barricaded against the threat and their interpersonal squabbles. Instead, Colin’s audiences are taken to the bloody, gory front lines, to places where only zombies dwell and, more importantly, inside the flesh-eater’s instinct mind. This latter point is the film’s heart.
Small pockets of human life exist amongst Colin’s unfolding chaos, but they fall victim not only to the growing zombie hordes but also reckless hubris. In fact, the cruelty inflicted by survivors upon the living is as disturbing as any of the film’s surprisingly realistic, cannibal set pieces. In Colin, the dead are simply doing what they do—eat. The living are the real monsters. It’s as bleak a vision of the zombie apocalypse as any conceived by George A. Romero. Grade: A
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