I’m always excited at the chance to see a new zombie film, but the ‘The Battery’ isn’t really about zombies. Not about killing them, or being killed by them. It’s about two baseball players who team up after the world has been taken over by zombies and walk across New England. This is the zombie film I’ve been waiting for because it doesn’t glamourize the apocalypse, much like ‘The Walking Dead’ and ’28 Days Later’ does. Director (and actor) Jeremy Gardener‘s mundane approach to the end of the world is refreshing and entertaining, making his $6000 indie debut an instant success in my opinion.
We all want to be Ben. But we’re all Mickey. Ben is the cool-headed guy, and considering the situation keeps pretty positive throughout the whole movie, he’s the guy that survives the apocalypse and ‘actually gains weight’. Mickey on the other hand is frantic and lets his emotions rule him, which leads to tragic climax of the film. Most of the action in this film is actually between their clashing personalities – not because of the zombies- creating some great comedic overtones.
My favourite thing about this film is how easy it was to watch; the last half hour of the film was just Benny and Mickey tapped in their car, with just each other for company whilst hundreds of the undead waited for them outside. This really exposed the character’s desperation, not just to the audience but also to each other, revealing secrets, desires and jokes. It was this films simplicity that astonished me, being so used to gore and physically seeing the threat, that when they decided to cover up the car windows with blankets all that was left was an eerie atmosphere and the sounds of moaning zombies, creating a whole lot of suspense as we await their fate.
‘The Battery’ for the first time makes a zombie apocalypse seem boring. For me, a zombie apocalypse is something that can excite me; I will spend many evenings with my family planning what we would do, how we would survive and what precious objects we would take with us. This film reminded me that if it were to happen, it wouldn’t be half as exciting as it seems.
This isn’t a scary film, or a thrilling one at that. But it is an original take on an old tale, making this movie worth the watch. Kudos to Gardener for creating something unique in what seems like the most overdone horror genre of all time.