Tales from the Northside

Hello everyone and welcome to Tales from the Northside!  My name is Scott or Canadian Scott if you prefer and my area of nerd love comes from watching horror movies.  This column is going to be bringing you reviews of some of the latest, greatest and lackluster horror movies from every era.  A lot of what you’re about to read will contain some spoilers but I will try my best to keep you in suspense just like your favourite movies.

While scouring the internet for the latest in horror news, I stumbled across a cool web series called “Chronicles of the Dead”.  The premise is simple, zombies have taken over the earth and the series is dedicated to telling the various stages of a zombie apocalypse through various formats and film styles including found footage, multi-camera, single camera and even surveillance footage.   Chronicles of the Dead is the brain (pun intended) child of 3NFilms and you can join their Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages to learn more about the company.  Their first episode is Apocalypse and you can follow me after the jump to get my thoughts on the series.

This is a found footage piece which as we learned from The Last Exorcism, I love.  Other then Diary of the Dead from the grandfather of zombie movies, George Romero, I really haven’t seen this style of movie utilized well in this genre.  The acting is phenomenal, the actress has no lines but she conveys terror that you or I would be filled with being in her situation.  The special effects are also pretty impressive for a low budget production.  Watching the unknown character running around trying to escape the clutches of the dead was enthralling and that ending was pretty crazy.  The success of this short film has led to a sequel which is being released on January 31st.  I have been following their progress on Facebook and the production value has increased and they have been able to triple the running time of part 1.

Prior to the release of part 2, the makers of Chronicles of the Dead released two mini episodes to help show other sides of the rise of the zombie apocalypse.  The first was called Video Message.

In case you are unable to look at it online, the video opens with a guy telling his girlfriend about the shop he bought.  Suddenly, he is being chased by the living dead.  It looks like the makers of the series are going with the fast style zombies, which may be a turn off for some of you but for me, the story drew me in so I didn’t think about it.  Like Apocalypse, it is light on the dialogue but I think that makes for a better story because these actors are not going over the top in emotion which would make this hokey but instead the actor gives us the right amount of emotion which makes for a genuine thrill.

Now here is something I have never seen before in either the found footage genre or even in the zombie genre.  Industrial is the second mini episode from the makers of Chronicles of the Dead.  In this sequence, we see a women heading to her car after what I can assume was a long day at work.  If you are not able to view it, what makes this unique is that it is shot like surveillance video.  There is no dialogue; there is no sound, only what we can see.  This is great.  We can see that there are problems but there is nothing we can do, we are merely witnessing the last moments of this women which is what makes the found footage genre so great.

Well that does it for Chronicles of the Dead, I would encourage you to go online, seek it out and watch it again.  I’m not sure where they are going to go with the series but I can imagine that the more successful they get the better it will be.  If you like zombie movies, horror movies and found footage movies then you are definitely going to like this series.  Make sure you are paying attention as I will be adding part 2 of Apocalypse when it debuts.

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