12 Jul 2013

'Dead Set' DVD Review



Director: Charlie Brooker
Writer: Charlie Brooker
Stars: Jamie Winstone, Andy Nyman, Riz Ahmed

During the live eviction of hit British TV-Reality show Big Brother, a Zombie outbreak reaches the grounds of the Big Brother house, eliminating and turning all from the outside whilst the housemates inside are unaware of what beholds them on the outside world, and soon become aware that in order to stay alive is to keep secure in the Big Brother house.

The Film: Dead Set isn't a film at all, defeating the purpose of "The Film", and is more of a TV mini-series that was 5 episodes that latest over the Halloween Holidays, premiering the finale on Halloween night. Honestly, this review would be more suited towards the British readers, however, there is plenty of great zombie action in here for global watchers also, but those who are familiar with the reality show Big Brother will appreciate the most what this fantastic zombie affair has to offer.

Dead Set may not be the trend setting zombie icon that was set by Dawn, Night, Day and Shaun of the Dead, but it's a fresh approach to the horror sub-genre that has gripping action, a clever plot lingered in more messages on society than blood, and playful characters that provide a comedic element to this serious, dramatic drama. Many may not have heard of this little gem, which is a shame because it is a must-watch for all zombie addicts, and although it doesn't jump the gun straight away, it builds up to become something quite impressive. Bare in mind that this was before The Walking Dead faze so all this mini-series is full of original ideas as well as paying homage to Romero. Having a similar vibe to the Dawn of the Dead remake, it doesn't try to imitate its source material, but honor it, not copying it, but re-inventing it. I know it seems as if I am making this out to be a complete knock-off, but trust me, it isn't. Fair enough, the odd cliched zombie moments is thrown into the mix here and there, when has it not, but Dead Set pulls it off in an original and fresh manner, and the edge-of-your-seat tension becomes almost unbearable in the final episode.
I myself am not a huge fan of the zombie sub-genre, I mean I find them all the same, but its cases like Dead Set, Shaun of the Dead and even World War Z that give it hope, and without comparing much, I can easily say that Dead Set is the best of a good bunch. It's sharp editing and edgy camera work involve you in the horror, and the Big Brother cameo's only make the experience that bit more realistic. Brooker's way of displaying that it's a display of today's society is cleverly seamed throughout, tightened, and make near perfect, the whole "zombies turning on their TV to watch other zombies" is a clever social message and is slightly true, because Big Brother is nothing but a big waste of time. Is Dead Set the perfect zombie flick? Far from it, but does it deserved to be admired by global zombie fans? Hell yeah!

The Extras: Pfft, well as good as they are, they really could have been better in so many ways. The format is a tad annoying, having to go into different episodes for different extras is slightly annoying, but the content is good enough to make it durable. Maybe a little more content would have made this a great DVD to buy, and although it deserves to be bought, the extras just feel a little lack-luster, as if they were thrown together at the last minute. Meh, there good to watch so I don't know why I am complaining, but for a zombie flick, a little more detail should have been given.

VERDICT: Dead Set may not be the perfect zombie flick by any means, but it's a must that every zombie fan out there just give this a watch. It's gripping, gory and gloriously intense, often scary, often funny, it makes for a near perfect zombie experience to feast into. Buy it NOW!

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