DIARY OF THE DEAD (2007) Reviews and overview

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‘Shoot the dead’

Diary of the Dead is a 2007 American zombie horror film written and directed by George A. Romero (Land of the Dead; Dawn of the Dead; MartinNight of the Living Dead).

Although independently produced, the movie was distributed theatrically by Dimension Films and released in cinemas on February 15, 2008, and on DVD by The Weinstein Company and Genius Entertainment on May 20, 2008.

Diary of the Dead was the fifth film in Romero’s Dead series of zombie films. It is not a direct sequel to previous films in the series but occurs within the same universe as the original trilogy according to Romero.


A news cameraman and reporter are covering a story about an immigrant man killing his wife and son before committing suicide. The son and wife turn into zombies and kill several medical personnel and police officers but leave one medic and a reporter bitten before being killed.

A group of young film studies students from the University of Pittsburgh are in the woods making a horror film along with their faculty adviser, Andrew Maxwell when they hear news of an apparent mass-rioting and mass murder.


Two of the students, Ridley and Francine, decide to leave the group, while the project director Jason goes to visit his girlfriend Debra (the narrator). When she cannot contact her family, they travel to Debra’s parent’s house in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

En route Mary runs over a reanimated highway patrolman and three other zombies. The group stops and Mary attempts to kill herself. Her friends take her to a hospital, where they find the dead becoming zombies…


“Thanks to Diary of the Dead, we can once again celebrate Romero’s genius for filtering all the sociopolitical anxieties of a decade through gut-wrenching zombie horror. These days the maverick writer-director might be shuffling a bit, but there is still plenty of life in him – and he keeps going for the brain.” Film4

“But while horror provides the marketing hook, Romero’s movies are even more entertaining for their zesty sociopolitical satire, and like its ancestors, Diary explodes like an undead noggin with that stuff. A favorite touch: someone on a talk radio show is overheard remarking that the real “immigration problem” is now about people crossing the border between life and death.” RogerEbert.com

“People die, but no one is outright evil and horror conventions are even lampooned for being predictable and passe. Most of the action is visual, and Romero slips in several visual references to the fragmentation of the proscribed world: an American flag twisted upon itself, a globe turned upside down. Meaningless borders became fluid as the line between life and death is blurred.” CinemaBlend

“This is hardly a new idea by now, and Romero does it to death with ponderous musings about camcorder culture and the ethics of stopping to look, not to help. Intermittent fun, though.” Daily Telegraph

” …ultimately, it’s only the straight-ahead horror-for-horror’s-sake that works this time, not so much the deeper “message,” which, in this case, should have been buried quietly somewhere, with no chance of emerging from the grave.” Washington Post

“…Diary stands up with De Palma’s Redacted for asking more probing questions of the rhetorical nature of the first-person film style, and the relevance of the characterisations and the sense of impending apocalypse are finally more satisfying than Cloverfield.” This Island Rod


Filming locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


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