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Simon Read [Film Festival 06.21.09] zombies movie review horror



Year: 2009
Directors: Lawrence Gough
Writers: Lawrence Gough & Colin O'Donnell & Alan Pattison
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Beth's estranged daughter is coming home for Christmas the morning a strange container washes up on the nearby beach. When she catches her mother in the act with a married neighbour, Kieran, the girl runs off to her friend’s house and things start to get weird for the neighbourhood. Military helicopters and SAS troops swarm down on the area and order everyone back inside, but it's not long until the army presence in the street dwindles and Beth and Kieran, still locked inside, try to figure out what's happening...


Salvage is an interesting little film, tightly shot and with many moments of tension and suspense, it's basically an ambitious attempt at a reworking of 'Right At Your Door', crossed with '28 Days...' and 'Night of the Living Dead'. Some parts work very well, such as the characters using the attic space to travel from house to house along the street. It's also a prescient comment on the war on terror, tellingly having the outbreak (such as it is) beginning at the home of a North African doctor whom Kieran insists is in league with the Taliban, "They're all suicide bombers, them!" he shouts whilst looking for weapons.

The real plot centres on Beth's arc, she's a respected commercial lawyer who has sacrificed her family for a career and now's her chance to stand-up, save her daughter and right her past wrongs. She just doesn't know how amazingly tough this is going to be, given that she's got nervous soldiers dying left and right from God knows what, as well as the anxious Kieran, who isn't much help when the poop hits the fan. Kieran is a pretty funny character though, when they creep outside to steal the gun from a dead soldier and they realise he's still alive, the best good old Keiran can muster is, "You alright mate?"

Salvage does suffer from a few flaws, chief among them is that we've been here before so many times that it's not really shocking anymore, nor terribly interesting. Neve McIntosh as Beth has to carry the film and while she's a talented actress her character isn't strong enough, and the back-story between her and daughter seems slightly overwrought and unrealistic. All that said, it's still a well made horror flick with scares and gore, so if that's your bag then you'll no doubt dig this low-budget little menace. The ending also pays respect to Night of the Living Dead with a wink before the credits role.

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