Deadsight follows Canadian police officer Mara Madigan (Liv Collins who also cowrote the film) and Ben Neilson (Adam Seybold of Let Her Out) who stumble across one another during a zombie incursion in their area. The two strangers have to rely on each other to try and make it through the day. Mara is very late in her pregnancy and Ben is afflicted with an eye condition which renders him blind. The pair must fight to survive and try to find help all while navigating the Canadian countryside.
Director Jesse Thomas Cook deftly established an eerie tone with Deadsight. There isn’t much dialogue and the scenes are not overloaded with excessive information or overtly dramatic music. As a viewer, you become immersed as you are enveloped by the mostly quiet environment which is absent of anything other than the occasional zombie. The feeling is akin to walking a country road alone or treading through the forest without anyone els present. It’s pretty, but scary. It illicit a sense of vulnerability. Also, there is the absence of T.V. screens, cellphones, and radio broadcasts chirping about the zombies, so you are left in a place that could easily be the present or the past.
Main characters Mara and Ben were smartly conceived by screenwriters Liv Collins and Kevin Revie. They’re interesting because they are ordinary folks in the face of an apocalypse. A common trope of zombie films is to feature a character that happens to be insanely proficient at survival skills. However, that does not show up here and it is refreshing to see a unique perspective about what normal, regular folk would do in the face of such a pandemic. The pair don’t speak a lot but when they do, they share meaningful conversations which helps the viewer grow attached to them and take a stake in their survival. The actors show great versatility in expressing their emotions outside of the spoken word.
Despite all of its merits Deadsight did have some shortcomings. There are plenty of scenes that could have been cut that hindered the pacing. There are several sequences that both characters walking in various places for different reasons and while some are important, not all of them needed to make the final cut. Also, while Mara’s character development felt natural, Ben’s background was forced and seemed like an afterthought. There was also a bit of a twist that wasn’t thoroughly explored but I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoiling anything.
Overall, Deadsight was an eerie, enjoyable, albeit imperfect ride. I enjoyed that Ben and Mara were not impossibly attractive people that had an animal magnetism to one other. I love that they were regular people, people I would see at my grocery store or in the line at the bank. I just wish Jesse Thomas Cook would have taken it further and fleshed it out a bit more. But if you are looking for a change from the typical zombie fare Deadsight is absolutely worth a look. It will be available on DVD, VOD, and DigitalHD beginning July 2, 2019.
WICKED RATING: 6/10
Director(s): Jesse Thomas Cook
Writer(s): Liv Collins, Kevin Revie
Stars: Liv Collins, Adam Seybold, Ry Barrett
Release: Available on DVD, On Demand and Digital HD on July 2nd, 2019
Studio/ Production Co: Foresight Features
Length: 89 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Horror, Zombies