DIRECTOR: Travis Stevens
STARRING: Christine Woods and Graham Sibley
What if the apocalypse came… and you were happy about it?
Better Off Zed focuses on a married couple, Paige (Christine Woods) and Guy (Graham Sibley), who have barricaded themselves in their suburban California home to survive the zombie apocalypse. While Paige eagerly listens to the radio for evacuation information and tries to flag down rescue helicopters, Guy is less concerned with escaping and sees their predicament as an opportunity for an easier life with no responsibilities.
This movie is such a refreshing take on the zombie genre. It’s interesting seeing the focus on what life during a zombie apocalypse could mean past just not being eaten and the surprising perks of it (zombie apocalypse=no more student loan payments!) while establishing a great message about how playing it safe can end up being dangerous. The bright, cheerful set design contrasting with the dark subject matter reflects that message so well; Paige and Guy live in a sunny yellow house surrounded by lush greenery and colorful flowers, but just outside their fence is a slowly growing crowd of the flesh-hungry undead.
The acting in this movie is also fantastic. It could be hard to keep a movie interesting and engaging with only two actors with speaking roles, but Better Off Zed delivers. Christine Woods and Graham Sibley have excellent chemistry, from their touching romantic moments to their growing tension and marital conflict. Graham does a wonderful job playing Guy as both infuriating and sympathetic, but Christine stands out as Paige with some strong comedic skills; she has this great moment where she cries over a pair of boots that she’ll never get to buy and her performance is both hilarious and heartbreaking.
My only complaint about this movie has to do with the pacing, as it does feel a bit slow after a while. There’s a lot of focus on the monotony of being stuck in the house forever, which I understand is important since so much of the focus is on feeling trapped and limited, but it’s established well enough that the movie doesn’t need to be as long as it is; it goes past building tension to being kind of boring. That said, the last fifteen minutes ago is an emotional rollercoaster, so that somewhat makes up for it.
Overall, Better Off Zed is absolutely worth checking out. While it will definitely appeal to zombie/horror fans, it’s not overly bloody or gory, so non-horror fans will be able to enjoy it too, thanks to the excellent writing and acting.
Better Off Zed is available now on iTunes, Amazon, Googleplay, and DirecTv.
Also available at retailers such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy.