Short Film Review: Fear Itself - New Year's Day (2008)

Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, written by Steve Niles, and starring Briana Evigan, Cory Monteith, Niall Matter, and Zulay Henao.

"A young woman named Helen wakes up with a hangover to a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies." Sorry, no trailer; just a behind-the-scenes clip.

New Year's Day was the sixth episode in the NBC show Fear Itself, and originally aired on July 17th last year, New Year's Day packs a few heavies in horror. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (the man behind Saw III, IV, and V, and Repo! The Genetic Opera), written by Steve Niles (the man behind the 28 Days Later comics, and the 30 Days of Night comics and movie), and starring Briana Evigan (from S. Darko and the coming Sorority Row), New Year's Day manages to pull off in only 43 minutes what most zombie movies can't in an hour and a half.

At its core the movie is less of a typical zombie that you're used to seeing these days. It's definitely not action packed. It goes more for the old shock and scare, and the drama of dealing with an epic epidemic in the early morning after the celebration of New Year's. Helen, the main protagonist, wakes up about four in the morning on New Year's Day, in the middle of a city overtaken by zombies, and she treks across the urban landscape, trying to reach her boyfriend's apartment. It's dark, creepy, and the episode has a great twist, with what might be minor plot holes, but not necessarily. The acting is decent, for what it needs to be, and the dialog is average, but at least it's never cringe-worthy.


My only complaint of the movie is Bousman's editing and love for shaky, almost-worse-than hand-held camera work. Even in its short time, there were parts that made me want to look away and heave. There were a couple of scenes that were far worse than the scenes in Cloverfield that everyone loves to bitch about. But if you can look past that, and you're not a whiny bitch, you'll enjoy it. And since I'm such a swell guy, you can watch the whole short film here at FEARnet.

Best quote: "It was you! It was you all this time! You did this! I know what you did!"


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