There’s no Canadian horror festival without a zombie movie. As an Ontarian, any fear of the (inevitable) zombie apocalypse is calmed by the knowledge that my preparations only have to last me until the winter, winters that, while otherwise are brutal, will take out any hungry zombies and save us all. The Ontario winters were in the back of my mind the whole way through the Fargo reminiscent zombie story set in Grey County, Ontario, DEADSIGHT.
DEADSIGHT’s twist on the familiar genre is in the status of the protagonists, one is partially blind, and the other is pregnant. The blind man navigating the unforeseen zombie outbreak feels like a better telling of a favourite chapter of World War Z where the human target is forced to use their other senses and smarts to prepare for, outwit, and defeat violent virus carriers.
When officer Mara Madigan, a pregnant young police officer, stumbles across Ben, a partially blind escapee, inexplicably in scrubs and handcuffs, holed up in a farm house, she leans into her instincts not to immediately trust him, while staying diligent knowing there are hungry former humans roaming around. Their individual challenges and need to rely on their fellow human for survival make this unlikely duo a charming pair with a shot at survival.
While the film ultimately doesn’t bring too much new to the zombie genre, it is an enjoyable watch fit for the Sunday evening zombie film craving. It could have ended earlier than it does and wrapped up the backstories of the characters sooner, as near the end, I found myself zoning out a bit, but the exciting third act is worth the drag.
Liv Collins, who stars as Officer Madigan, also co-wrote the film (along with Kevin Revie) which makes for a pretty killer resume. Producer and director, Jesse Thomas Cook, produced one of my least favourite zombie movies, so I am excited to see this good one get added to his mix.
Having spent a lot of time in Grey/Bruce County in my life, I have a soft spot for this film’s setting and the use of the Canadian rural townships to drive the story. My only wish is that there were more direct references to the counties, but that’s probably my personal desire to see them shine on screen.
DEADSIGHT might not change the game, but it is chilling and ferocious, and leaves you immediately invested in the characters. Much like a good slasher, I never tire of zombie flicks to satiate a craving, and DEADSIGHT does the job.