User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 76
  2. Negative: 25 out of 76

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  1. Feb 1, 2013
    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 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
  2. Jun 3, 2012
    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. Mar 3, 2012
    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 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
  4. Jun 18, 2011
    Another fantastic Romero made zombie movie, I like how it shows you about the survivors adapting and trying to cope with there new life with the dead, something that is rarely explored in zombie movies, and while it starts off making you think it's going to suck do to it being over dramatic, it quickly picks up the pace and becomes enjoyable, but there are still a few cheesy moments here and there, but this is still a fantastic movie, a must see for Romero fans. Expand
  5. May 1, 2011
    A terrible movie that represents what it is in of itself; a disaster. The acting is atrocious, the gore is all CGI and it ripped off the camcorder premise from The Blair Witch Project, as 5 billion other horror movies did also. A severe letdown for Romero fans.

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
    Gripping, intimate genre triumph.