A minimalist zombie horror that asks the question… how far would you go to protect your child? When the Fever Breaks was directed by Tymaine Clay, who co-wrote it with Lucy Clay. It stars Genevieve Gearhart as Skye and Kruiz Mauga as Hayley. A mother and daughter who are trying to stay alive during a zombie apocalypse.
Trapped inside a house with some friends and acquaintances, the dead are roaming the streets hungering for human flesh. Hope is in short supply and dwindles even more when Skye is bitten by a zombie. Now she is infected and on borrowed time, her only goal is to make sure her daughter is safe. No matter the cost.
It’s a strong premise that looks to pull on the heart-strings but lacks the emotional depth in the characters required to make it work. It’s not the fault of the actors as there is some really strong performances here but rather the writing and questionable character of lead, Skye.
For someone we’re supposed to believe will do anything to protect her daughter, she is the actual cause of her even being in danger. Once bitten, rather then isolate herself or leave the house immediately, she locks herself in a room with her child. This makes the rest of the house begin to wonder if Hayley could have been infected too. Resulting in them forcibly kicking the pair out.
That Skye would then come back and start killing them all in the name of protecting her daughter really doesn’t sit right. You start to wonder if the others hadn’t seen her being bitten would she even have told them? That’s not the way to make the lead likable at all.
Although, it does result in a very satisfying finale that almost feels deserved. Something that plays out in almost gleeful fashion, as though the filmmakers were aware the lead’s behaviour and decisions weren’t going to win her many fans.
Actual zombie action is at a minimum here. When we do get them attacking, it’s done in flash cuts and in near darkness to hide the low budget. It does make things feel fairly frantic but the lack of visibility doesn’t make for a great watch.
With a few to many flaws to ignore, the main being the lead character, When the Fever Breaks ends up just being a run of the mill zombie horror. The idea was sound and the effort put in to realise it, can’t be faulted.
When the Fever Breaks
The Final Score - 5.5/10