One of the biggest problems with modern zombie films is that they often revel in excess. Characters are often placed in nonsensical circumstances, such as entering an abandon store and setting up shop for the night without thoroughly checking it out, just so hordes of the undead can terrorize them. This is one reason why Jesse Thomas Cook’s Deadsight is such a refreshing film, it achieves maximum tension through a minimalistic approach.

A deadly virus has spread across the quiet community of Grey County. Though it is not quite clear the cause of it, the virus is slowly turning residents into zombies. This is especially problematic for Ben Neilson (Adam Seybold), a partially blind man who wakes up in an ambulance unaware of what has occurred. Unable to see the danger lurking around him, Ben desperately seeks shelter and assistance. Along his journey he stumbles across Mara Madigan (Liv Collins), a pregnant police officer who is trying to make sense of what is happening to the community.

Together the pair attempt to survive not only the terror of the undead, but also the paranoia of the residents who take a shoot first approach to anything that comes near their property.

One of the great things about Deadsight is how quickly Cook gets us invested in the characters and the predicament they find themselves in. He provides just enough details to allow his principle cast, both Collins and Seybold give strong and nuanced performances, to bring added dimension to the roles. Even the few supporting players, such as one of the aforementioned trigger-happy residents (played by the always solid Ry Barrett), are interesting in their own right. Never overstaying its welcome, Deadsight builds and sustains tension gradually. This allows Cook’s film to effortless glide over the occasional misstep, such as when Ben turns his back on a newly dead body.

An exciting film that features strong cinematography, the use of red lighting is extremely effective in the climax, Deadsight is one of those rare gems. A zombie film that brings new thrill and chills to a well-travelled genre.

Screens:
Sunday, November 25, 4:30 PM, The Royal Cinema

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