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Film Box Retrospective: “Night of the Living Dead” with Kathleen Ellison

Given the terribly cold weather of late, it’s not a bad idea to watch a good horror movie to get your blood pumping so you don’t die of hypothermia. I personally decided to watch a classic black and white horror movie, one that I’m surprised more haven’t seen: “Night of the Living Dead”.

This 1968 horror movie is directed by George Romero and stars Duane Jones, Judith O’dea, and Karl Hardman. In this classic horror movie a group of strangers try to survive the night in a farmhouse, barricading themselves from zombies, but can they survive each other?

One of the major aspects that really drew me to this movie is how realistic it is. The way the people act and think is incredibly plausible. You see a wide array of reactions to the situation – hysteria, anger, cool logic, fear – and they all are responses that you would see in any extreme situation, and they are all amazingly acted out.

Consequently the most intriguing and captivating quality of the plot is not the zombies, but seeing that human interaction, what people would do to survive, bringing up the idea of who is the real monster. The plot is fast paced and twisting. This survivalist feature combined with an ever growing number of zombies creates a constant tone of suspense.

The make up effects are absolutely fantastic. The zombies are so well done, and it is even more impressive given that this is all make up and no CGI. I enjoyed how the trope of the black person dying first was thoroughly crushed in this movie, and I also like the ironic twist at the end of the movie, which I can’t really say without spoiling the end.

This is my favorite zombie movie. This movie truly defines its genre and sets a high standard for all horror movies. Anyone who loves zombies needs to see this Romero classic.

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