2010’s Frightfest saw the debut film from brothers Jon and Howard J Ford, a visually lovely zombie movie set and filmed in Burkina Faso. It was The Dead, and it will shock no-one that The Dead 2: India is a sequel set and filmed in India.
The first film was notable for its photography and sort of road movie feel, and both elements are in evidence here – it’s shot sumptuously, and the story concerns American wind farm engineer Nicholas (Joseph Millson) trying to get across 300 miles of the Land of the Kings, Rajasthan, to his girlfriend Ishani (Meenu). Along the way he meets a young boy guide (Anand Krishna Goyal) and the pair have to survive the desert conditions as well as the undead; all the while, the bustle of the slums of Mumbai only means more potential zombies to threaten Ishani and her family.
The level of action has been ramped up, with a couple of impressive set pieces, though it isn’t as packed as the average zombie movie.
The revenants themselves are also particularly lethargic even by undead standards – maybe it’s the heat? – and it diminishes the sense of threat somewhat when they can be casually sidestepped and pushed away with ease.
Acting and characterisation is generally good, though Ishani’s father has a tendency to be drawn in stereotypes and there are some soap-opera cliches in revelations made. It’s also disappointing to see that late on after ammunition has been pointedly scarce through the whole film, a character manages to happen upon a Pistol Of Unlimited Bullets which is a little bit jarring as well as making the sequence feel a bit video-game and defusing its tension.
The Dead 2 is a solid sequel, though its deliberate pacing and even more deliberate antagonists mean it’s not for everyone. But it’s still satisfyingly brutal and looks gorgeous, so if you liked the first then it’s definitely worth a look! ***