The Demented sees the bar for zombie/infected horror, notices that it’s already super-low, makes its run-up before tripping and crashing head-first into it. Yes, The Demented doesn’t just lower the bar, it down-right ploughs through it in embarrassing fashion.
The first half of the film does the spectacular job of following each terrible scene or sequence with another. It’s incredible how little effort was put in to make this an interesting or original horror. The horrid first half means that when the more-action packed second half gets going it comes across like a stone-cold classic even though it is far from that.
Get out your horror checklist and ready some ticks because The Demented is all about that box-ticking.
We meet a group of the blandest characters possible as they pump out the blandest of rock music (you know the kind we’re talking about) on their way to party. They’re going to be spending the weekend at the rich character’s dad’s place. Being a rich arsehole is that characters only definition and the rest of the group are just a bunch of sterotypes too. We have the muscle head jock, the promiscuous girl, the ‘good’ one…they’re all here and all stinking up the screen.
Their fun is interrupted when the rich character’s father calls to warn them of a biological attack on the coast. Time to leave, right? I mean this is a serious thing, time to head back to their families.
Well not according to these guys. Oh sure, they have a little bit of back and forth dialogue about staying but almost immediately start focusing on their own personal relationship issues. Even when the terrible CGI mushroom cloud appears on the horizon this lot seem totally unconcerned about it!
It’s only when a zombie dog attacks them do they start to take things seriously. Jesus wept.
A trip into town for one character unveils the true devastation caused by the biological attack and this is where The Demented finally steps its game up. Not with better acting or a better story, not at all, it gets better thanks to the zombies/infected. These creatures are similar in style to the 28 Days Later style of infected, smashing and crashing through windows desperately trying to get hold of their victims. Practical make-up and a willingness by the zombie actors to throw their all into it does leave something of an impression even if we’ve seen it all before.
It’s just a pity that nothing else really happens from here. Characters run, zombies chase, characters hide, zombies act menacing, characters fight back, zombies snarl. It would be perfectly fine if we’d not seen this same thing done over and over again.
That makes it an impossible recommendation especially when the first half is such a chore to get through.
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The Final Score - 2.5/10