Every now and then, someone comes up with a different view of an apocalyptic collapse, be it infectious or supernatural in origin, but sometimes, the end starts bulldozing over everyone in sight with no cause, explanation or quest for solution in sight.
Deadsight takes that approach, dropping the viewer somewhere near the start of the end, with protagonists who have nothing to do with the starting the outbreak nor are they involved in finding a way to stop it. We meet Mara, a pregnant rural police officer on her way to work her last shift before maternity leave, and Ben, a blind and locked down patient ostensibly being transported by ambulance to a facility more suited to treat him. We don’t know if injury or illness caused his blindness.
When the dead and dying disrupt their respective mornings, their individual detours lead them to cross paths, and necessity keeps them together to survive. We experience the horrors alongside of them, with no information at hand, no way to acquire any information or help, nowhere near properly equipped for long-term survival, and no clue where to go or what to do next.
The atmosphere in this movie is nearly perfect: the too-quiet landscape enhances the feelings of isolation and mild paranoia, and the far-flung spacing of the few buildings makes finding safe shelter all that more urgent, especially when the stress of the situation causes Mara to starts showing signs of early labor.
The makeup and sound effects of the undead are top notch, but most of the moments intended to be jump scares are mild, at best. I’m not sure if the narrow focus on the protagonists or the all-encompassing nature of the silent surroundings is what dampens any anticipation of surprises, so while there is a steady pace of tension and second-guessing. there are no true, full-on scares.
There’s also something a teensy bit annoying about only being teased about what might be going on with Ben and his blindness. There are feints and hints that the reason he was being transported to another facility might be connected to the illness causing other healthy humans to change into infected, shuffling masses, but no such intellectual curiosities are resolved. No speculations, no connections, no answers. It’s both enjoyable and despicably frustrating.
Having the story centered on two people in trouble, running from danger and just trying to survive is an effective frame. Being far from the top levels of political and military power and scientific minds who might be attacking the problem or searching for its source has worked in a lot of other zombie apocalypse films, and sometimes a smaller, more intimate settings enhances the horror elements of what’s happening. In Deadsight, however, all of those elements don’t mesh together quite as well as they could to build that completely satisfying story. Entertaining, but not fully satisfying.
Mara Madigan (Collins) is a pregnant police officer about to go on maternity leave. But on her last day on the job, she wakes up to a world ravaged by a nightmarish and bloody plague of the living dead. Amidst the chaos and violence, she finds Ben Neilson (Seybold), a man who is virtually blind, helpless, and has a mystery shrouding his past. Somehow these two must put their heads together and find a way to safety to escape this living hell.
CAST: Liv Collins, Adam Seybold and Ry Barrett
DIRECTOR: Jesse Thomas Cook
WRITERS: Liv Collins and Kevin Revie
Being far from the top levels of political and military power and scientific minds who might be attacking the problem or searching for its source has worked in a lot of other zombie apocalypse films, and sometimes a smaller, more intimate settings enhances the horror elements of what’s happening. In Deadsight, however, all of those elements don’t mesh together quite as well as they could to build that completely satisfying story. Entertaining, but not fully satisfying.