This is a movie that I have seen previews for several times over the past year. Each time I saw it, in my mind I was saying, “looks cool but seems just like every other zombie movie”. I will admit that I was completely wrong, because this kicks the shit out of any movie/television show involving zombies over the past five years. The fact that it takes place during the Civil War and the years immediately following the Civil War only adds to the greatness of the film. Every actor in the movie leaves their mark on it and it introduces a few legends of the horror genre to the new generation of horror viewers.
Exit Humanity tells the tale of Edward Young, a confederate soldier, who during the course of being ambushed by a squad of Union soldiers comes face to face with a zombified soldier. He takes the zombie down and then we find out that six years later there has been a zombie outbreak in Tennessee. His wife and child become zombies and he is forced to take action. He comes face to face with the realization that he has nothing left and latches on to a promise he made to his dead son. The promise he made is the only thing that is keeping him going and continuing to fight for his life.
This is a movie that takes a different route than most zombie movies and focuses on the reactions of the survivors. The zombie action/killing isn’t really the main part of the movie; it is essential but it doesn’t define the movie itself. The thing The Walking Dead comic book does so well is to bring the humanity out in the cast of characters and you see how each and every decision they make affects them on a personal level. That is one thing that Exit Humanity replicates almost perfectly, and Mark Gibson, who plays the main character, carries the movie alone with his performance. His performance is marvelous and he portrays every type of emotion that you could possibly have with it. You see how killing zombies affects him over time because he begins to have the realization that they were once people and need to be respected in a way. It is an odd realization to have, but it fits in line with the nature of the character. He is a good man stuck in an unbelievably horrible situation that is trying to regain a semblance of his former being.
The movie itself is beautifully shot and some of the shots in the movie rival that of one with 10 times the budget. The film has a bleached look to it, but it never detracts from the viewer’s experience, it only adds to it. There is no over the top gore in this movie and it happens to be one of the strong points of the movie because it relies on telling a top-notch story instead of relying on gruesome deaths to draw in viewers. This is a story about how people deal with a horrible situation and how it can change those people, for better or worse. This is the type of movie that comes along once every few years and it really needs to be seen to be appreciated.
This is one of the best horror movies that I saw in 2012. I did not expect to like this movie at all, but in the end I loved it. Having genuinely well thought-out characters coupled with a great story and gorgeous cinematography will hook me 10 out of 10 times.
Take a Drink: with every narrated journal entry.
Take a Drink: for every single zombie kill in the movie.
Do a Shot: every time the main character cries.