“Slow Burn Danish Zombie Picture”
And it very much IS a slow burn, but that’s actually the main reason I liked director Bo Mikkelsen’s suburban drama, which is getting a UK DVD release from Soda Pictures.
In a small suburb of the city of Sorgenfri, people are starting to become ill, exhibiting flu-like symptoms that won’t settle. Otherwise it’s middle class life as usual. Teenager Gustav (Benjamin Engell) is keen to befriend the girl who has just moved in next door, seven year old Maj (Ella Solgaard) loves her lop-eared bunny Ninus, and their parents Dino (Troels Lyby) and Pernille (Mille Dinesen) are coping with the everyday problems of family life.
Then the army moves in, the area is cordoned off with massive concrete blocks, and every family is warned to stay in their homes prior to being subjected to health checks. If they don’t pass they get carted off in big container trucks. The houses are sealed and food and water is brought to them as a quarantine process begins. No-one is allowed to leave, but Gustav is determined to find out what is going on.
The zombie bit of WHAT WE BECOME is really confined to the last twenty minutes or so. Prior to that, it does a very good job of building characters, developing a sense of insidious unease, and making what is happening feel very realistic indeed. It’s a bit like episode one of a good TV series, where you know the rest of it’s going to be quite different but you’re impressed at how they set it all up. Fans expecting non-stop zombie action will be disappointed, but this one’s actually not bad at all if you fancy something a tiny bit different (and well made and well acted).
Soda Pictures’ disc gives you two soundtrack options (both Danish with forced subtitles) plus a trailer. There are no other extras.
WHAT WE BECOME is out on DVD from Soda Pictures on Monday 20th February 2017