A Canadian horror-comedy, Dead Shack doesn’t bring anything fresh to the zombie genre but in a nice turn of events is fairly entertaining and has some decent comedic moments.
The story surrounds a family who have gone on holiday to a remote cabin in the woods. Unlike most families we meet in this kind of set-up, these folks are short on cash so the place they’re staying in isn’t exactly the nicest. We’re introduced to Dad Roger (Donavon Stinson) and his new girlfriend, Lisa (Valeria Tian). The pair are only interested in getting as drunk as possible leaving the teenage kids to go explore. We have the sister and brother pairing of Summer (Lizzie Boys) and Colin (Gabriel LaBelle) who are joined by Colin’s friend Jason (Matthew Nelson-Mahood) who happens to have the hots for Summer.
While wandering about they come across a neighbour’s house (the owner is played by Lauren Holly) and see two frat-boys going in. Thinking they’re going to see some sexy action, they sneak up to the window to have a look. However, instead what they see are the two men drugged and knocked unconscious before they are then fed to a zombie child.
The neighbour has a few skeletons in the closet it seems.
So, what works in Dead Shack? Well, the cast are pretty good. Every character baring Lisa feel pretty defined and their chemistry is solid. Here, thanks to adults who are less responsible then they should be, the teens have to take control and it makes for a fun dynamic.
Donavon Stinson’s Roger is down-right hilarious at times.
“I’m super drunk and kinda high, so being quiet is hard.”
Also, the villain of the movie actually gets some motivation and when shown it is believable and dare I say, almost relatable.
The low-budget is stretched far resulting in some really good and effective gore. Dead Shack is not for the squeamish as the zombies get to sink their teeth in deeply.
Where it struggles though is with the obvious. It is just another zombie horror and will be quickly forgotten once the credits are rolling. Also, occasionally the jokes do miss, particularly when weighted towards modern technology, something that is going to make this movie feel very dated in a few years’ time.
Enjoy it for what it is.