So, I’ve just finished watching a film, and I feel obliged to write about it. Which says a lot, really. It’s been a while since I’ve seen something that made me… react so strongly.
The 11th of June 2014: National news warns of an outbreak and advises everyone to stay inside their homes and wait for further instructions. Soon after, the signal disappears and the broadcast cuts off. In the following days a group of survivors holed up in a small house begin to wonder how long they can afford to wait for help.
I should state, I hate horror movies. Well, I hate psychological thrillers – I made the mistake of watching The Ring (the Japanese version, not the shite American one), and I swear to god if there was ever any white noise on the TV for about the next week I was ready to punch an undead child in the face. And during The Woman in Black (yes, the film, I know, it’s not that scary) I was yelling at Daniel Radcliffe “YOU’RE A WIZARD, DO SOMETHING!” So yeah. I don’t do suspense. But I thought “hey, it’s been made by one of my mates, it’s filmed in my uni town, I’ll be fine. Watching it alone. At night.”
Turns out I was wrong.
Summer ’14 by Happenstance Films is a zombie movie. Kind of. You don’t see a lot of the zombies actually doing anything apart from standing motionless. Which is scarier. Because in every shot they are in the exact same place. And this film spans about a week and they don’t move. And that, my friends, is suspense. Because every time there is one of those lingering shots, filmed peeking through the curtains, you’re waiting for one of them to look at you. You don’t want them to. But it needs to happen. They should be turning around. THEY SHOULD BE FUCKING DOING SOMETHING. Stillness is terrifying. And there’s a horrible progression by one of the characters who gets bitten, and some SEXY DISGUSTING ZOMBIE BITE MAKEUP, and the others trying to decide what to do. I’d say it followed a classic formula in terms of storyline, but that’s not a criticism.
The film was about people. Six people, stuck in a house, running out of food and water and patience. And one of their friends has been bitten, and they need to deal with it. And I’m not going to tell you anything else of the storyline. But I need to tell you this one thing that has really bothered me about this film.
One of my best mates was playing the role of Natalie (Imminent Zombie Girl), and it’s all filmed on a handheld camera, and when she can tell it’s getting near to the end, she films her goodbyes. And I am not ashamed to say that it made me cry. A lot. Because there was one of my closest friends in the world staring into my eyes and preparing for her death. She says goodbye to her dad, her brother, her mum. And then to her best friend, Paul. And she says sorry. Because she has asked him, when the time comes, when she can’t hold on any more, to kill her.
And now I’m sitting here writing because I cannot get this out of my head. Could I do it? Could I kill my best friend? I have no idea. I would like to say that I would, that I could, but please god it never comes to it. Certain things shouldn’t be tested. It’s bothering me. It really is. I am fortunate enough to have never experienced grief properly, my family and friends are all alive and well, and I want to say that I would be the strong one, that I would be the kind of person who could…
What I’m trying to say is that it seems to be the ultimate act of selflessness. To end someone’s suffering knowing that-
What I’m trying to say is that it would haunt you forever-
That it’s the ultimate act of selfishness, asking someone to kill you, asking so much of someone-
Fuck this, it has genuinely got in my brain.
More people should see this film.
Sorry if this seems melodramatic. This should have been a better post.