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Diary of the Dead

George Romero's latest zombies-among-us film adopts the au courant format of a vlog.

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The conceit is that we're watching various film sources -- home video, security tapes, footage uploaded to web sites -- that have been edited together after the fact by a survivor. The film thus presents an on-the-fly account of what happened to a group of Pitt students after the dead returned to life, hungry for brains. Romero's zombie thrillers are rarely without larger critique, and here his barbs are aimed at a video-centric generation whose fascination with documenting everything exerts a heavy price. With undead on the loose, imminent danger should prevail over getting a good angle, but most of Romero's finger-wagging suggests that our incessant documenting, our converting everything into "reality-of-me TV" fodder, has desensitized us to human suffering. Of course, horror filmmakers aren't exempt from this judgment, and Romero tips his hat by including a burgeoning horror director in his story. That may be why Diary is lighter than usual on gore and scares ... or maybe I'm just used to it. Starts Fri., Feb. 15. (AH) [capsule review]

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