Diary of the Dead

User Score
5.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 83 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 83
  2. Negative: 26 out of 83

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User Reviews

  1. TiernanS.
    May 29, 2008
    5
    Fortunately, the first person camerawork is far steadier here than it was in films like 'Cloverfield,' 'The Blair Witch Project' and the last two 'Bourne' films. However, I have a nagging point to make. Why and how are the type of zombies portrayed in the vast majority of the countless zombie movies over the years so dangerous and deadly? They move as slow as Fortunately, the first person camerawork is far steadier here than it was in films like 'Cloverfield,' 'The Blair Witch Project' and the last two 'Bourne' films. However, I have a nagging point to make. Why and how are the type of zombies portrayed in the vast majority of the countless zombie movies over the years so dangerous and deadly? They move as slow as a lawn mower on idle, and have no real cognitive functioning (hint:they're really stupid). "Oh no, a zombie is going to eat me, I don't know what to do?" Um, how about you just move a little to the left. Geez! This isn't a bad zombie flick. There's the prerequisite gore and mayhem and such. No one call pull this off better than Romero, but I have to wonder how he hasn't become bored with this genre at this point. Oh well! Expand
  2. Jun 3, 2012
    5
    this movie is good but problem is the camera works the main actor behind the camera documentary dead around him and watches his friend get bitten just stupid
  3. CharlesM.
    Mar 8, 2008
    4
    How can the Amish guy make the film, he's not even in it for 10 minutes!! Sorry bout that but I think some people mustve seen a different movie. It's really not that great at all and other than the very heavy handed social commentary that Romero fans (of which I am one) always go on about, you wouldnt even know this was a Romero movie. It has a few good moments, notably a How can the Amish guy make the film, he's not even in it for 10 minutes!! Sorry bout that but I think some people mustve seen a different movie. It's really not that great at all and other than the very heavy handed social commentary that Romero fans (of which I am one) always go on about, you wouldnt even know this was a Romero movie. It has a few good moments, notably a humerous part in which the speed of the undead is made fun of. An obvious nod at the modern sprinting zombies. I think Romero must approach his movies with a lot of ideas about what he wants to say, I just wish he'd make his first decent movie in 30 years. Or retire! Expand
  4. DannyS.
    Jun 1, 2008
    4
    How could you George? The first peron Blair witch thing is played out! This is not your finest hour.
  5. KrisW.
    Jun 23, 2008
    4
    my girlfriend and i love really bad horror movies. even more so when zombies and a lot of gore are involved. but this takes the cake. this was so horribly done, she and i had a hard time finding a moment that we couldnt stop taking it seriously. yeah its a romero zombie film but they've now become so tiresome that its become hard to take it for even its entertainment value. and, was my girlfriend and i love really bad horror movies. even more so when zombies and a lot of gore are involved. but this takes the cake. this was so horribly done, she and i had a hard time finding a moment that we couldnt stop taking it seriously. yeah its a romero zombie film but they've now become so tiresome that its become hard to take it for even its entertainment value. and, was it just us, or did that well-endowed blonde somehow develop a southern accent halfway through the movie ?? the 1s person camera view was poorly put together. Cloverfield was so so much more worth seeing. Expand
  6. JC
    Aug 1, 2009
    6
    Basically the first half hour of this movie was crap. but the next hour, was very entertaining after they had killed off most of the bad actors and actually got things going. the main thing hated about this movie were the characters themselves, many of them were very unlikeable but that's just my opinion. and whoever the actor was that played ridley should be the next Joker, he suits Basically the first half hour of this movie was crap. but the next hour, was very entertaining after they had killed off most of the bad actors and actually got things going. the main thing hated about this movie were the characters themselves, many of them were very unlikeable but that's just my opinion. and whoever the actor was that played ridley should be the next Joker, he suits the role perfectly. if the movie was a bit longer and put some more emphasis on survivors against survivors, its would've been great, but alas, its didn't. Expand
  7. NickM.
    Apr 28, 2008
    6
    Its got a new view on the zombie genre, with great supporting cast, such as the Amish man, and the people who run the outpost in the garage. decent story, but with the exception of the teacher, all of the main characters kind of sucked. I mean, generic guy, generic girl, generic nerd, generic jock, generic religious girl, generic slut, and generic funny guy. I mean, really, couldn't Its got a new view on the zombie genre, with great supporting cast, such as the Amish man, and the people who run the outpost in the garage. decent story, but with the exception of the teacher, all of the main characters kind of sucked. I mean, generic guy, generic girl, generic nerd, generic jock, generic religious girl, generic slut, and generic funny guy. I mean, really, couldn't put some development on the starring roles. The teacher was a good character, with some creativity, but not enough to make up for the sucky college kids. Expand
  8. Mar 3, 2012
    4
    It wasn't the odd choice to film this movie in a documentary-style narrative which was the sole let down, but rather the character development (or lack thereof) of the survivors. I honestly couldn't care less if they died which is not exactly expected of an audience when watching a horror flick as traditionally they should root for the good guys. The entire film was morbidly depressing andIt wasn't the odd choice to film this movie in a documentary-style narrative which was the sole let down, but rather the character development (or lack thereof) of the survivors. I honestly couldn't care less if they died which is not exactly expected of an audience when watching a horror flick as traditionally they should root for the good guys. The entire film was morbidly depressing and is definitely one of the weaker installments in George A. Romero's "Dead" series. Thankfully massive amounts of blood and gore weren't lacking. Phew! Expand
  9. Feb 1, 2013
    6
    If George Romero had made this three or four years sooner, it may have still been relevant, but DIARY OF THE DEAD comes in way too late in the long line of "found footage" films that became popular in the 2000's. DIARY follows a group of college students as they document their first-hand account of the zombie apocalypse using a hand-held video camera. Unfortunately, Romero gets the formatIf George Romero had made this three or four years sooner, it may have still been relevant, but DIARY OF THE DEAD comes in way too late in the long line of "found footage" films that became popular in the 2000's. DIARY follows a group of college students as they document their first-hand account of the zombie apocalypse using a hand-held video camera. Unfortunately, Romero gets the format entirely wrong in every conceivable way. Instead of producing an ultra-realistic nightmare as we had seen in [REC] from the same year, he gives us a poorly-staged and utterly contrived zombie bore lead by unbelievable characters and lackluster special effects.

    In the first of many offenses, Romero allows his characters to edit their footage, which entails adding slow-motion effects, scene transitions, and even narration. The editor has even chosen to emphasize the scares using blaring sound effects! Romero's characters are given painfully unnatural dialog, which makes them come off as being bad actors rather than genuine people. The zombies are killed in a variety of glamorized ways that simply would not happen in a real-world survivor setting. Worst of all, the cartoon gore is comprised almost entirely by computerized effects! How does this, in any way, reflect reality? Why choose this format only to then go back and fictionalize the events? The only answer seems to lie in the editor's commentary, itself. Debra repeatedly stresses how it was impossible to discern fact from fiction with 400,000 spins on the truth available for download online. Perhaps this, too, is some elaborate prank being played by the filmmakers, calling back to the Wellesian War of the Worlds radio drama that Romero references as well? Even in that remote possibility, DIARY OF THE DEAD never displays enough intelligence to credit it as being a satire.

    DIARY OF THE DEAD shows an extreme disconnect between concept and execution. Romero may have entered this project with good intentions, but the result is truly horrifying.

    -Carl Manes
    I Like Horror Movies
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  10. Jan 15, 2016
    4
    I don't know if George A. Romero knows how cameras work, because the camera literally has clear audio even when the characters are having small conversations too far away for a camera to pick up anything. It's like everyone got a mic on them.

    The one thing I notice in this movie that I never thought about before, is that every time there was a zombie attack, it's always caught on camera
    I don't know if George A. Romero knows how cameras work, because the camera literally has clear audio even when the characters are having small conversations too far away for a camera to pick up anything. It's like everyone got a mic on them.

    The one thing I notice in this movie that I never thought about before, is that every time there was a zombie attack, it's always caught on camera and just by the way it was perfectly shot in time for someone to come behind it to shoot or stab it. It would be a lot better if someone died or gets attacked off camera, because it would add a lot to this movie and keeps you guessing on when the next attack happens.

    The acting was a bit off at times, the effect's are really dated, and the characters are a bunch of idiots.
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Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Compared with other first-person motion-sickness horror pictures like "The Blair Witch Project" and "Cloverfield," George A. Romero’s Diary of the Dead is weak tea, yet there’s enough social commentary (and innovative splatter) to acidulate the brew--to remind you that Romero, even behind the curve, makes other genre filmmakers look like fraidy-cats.
  2. This "Living Dead" exercise delivers far less monstrosity and a great deal of pomposity, not to mention dull characters who aren't nearly as lively as those dead guys.
  3. Reviewed by: Eddie Cockrell
    90
    Gripping, intimate genre triumph.