Night of the Living Dead | Teen Ink

Night of the Living Dead

November 11, 2019
By LukeDonabedian0 BRONZE, Methuen, Massachusetts
LukeDonabedian0 BRONZE, Methuen, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

     The movie Night of the Living Dead is often credited as the turning point of the horror genre and became the roots of all zombie films. The film was directed by George A. Romero who while making the film never called his villainous hoards zombies. In the movie they are only ever referred to as ghouls, yet they somehow sparked the explosion that would be the booming genre of zombie films. The number of films in this genre became as numerous as the hoards on screen. This one film alone may be one of the most influential ever made and it was done in a style modern audiences almost never see in recent movies.
     Night of the Living Dead is a movie about a group of people that all find themselves trapped inside of a farmhouse and how they react to the horrific situation that they are forced into by the hoards of the undead banging at their doors. The main characters, Ben and Barbara, are played by Duane Jones and Judith O’Dea who played their respective roles exceptionally. The movie first came to theaters October 1st, 1968 and very quickly became an occult classic around the world.
     The main plot of the movie starts out with Barbara visiting her father’s grave along with her brother Johnny who is attacked by a man wandering the graveyard aimlessly. In response, Barbara runs away, abandoning her brother, and reaches a farmhouse. She explores around the house for a while as more zombie like people wander around outside. A man drives up to the house in a pickup truck, quickly killing three of these people. His name is Ben, and for the rest of the movie he will be our main character and tries to become leader of the main cast. The rest of the main cast are hiding down in the basement. This group includes the Coopers, a husband and wife along with their daughter. There is also a teenage couple, Tom and Judy are hiding with them. This cast of characters are required to come up with a plan to escape, and execute that plan or else they will all be killed.
     The tension comes mostly from the people on screen, not the monsters shuffling quietly outside. Barbara was scarred in the beginning. Seeing her brother be attacked made her freak out. She yelled at Ben to help her find her brother but he knocked her out because she was becoming hysterical. The stress and terror of her situation leaves her very timid and nearly silent for the rest of the film. Mr. Cooper gets violent with Ben very early on as he thinks that hiding in the cellar is safer as the one exit makes it easier to protect. Ben believes that upstairs is better due to there being multiple escape paths and supplies. Mr.Cooper wants to protect his family, and wants to barricade himself downstairs. To him, it does not matter if anyone else makes it out. When put into bad situations, some lose what manners they had and lean on their primal urges. They want to protect themselves and what is close to them, and they couldn't care less about everyone around them. The movie does an amazing job at showing us how our societal norms quickly break down when in the face of danger and death.
     I would highly recommend this movie to most people. This film is not for young children or the faint of heart due to the nature of the horror genre. The experience of watching is amazing, as stated before, the movie delves into the human psychology in the face of horror and it is also very well made for the time. There were no special effects to add afterwards back in the 60s so all the zombies and blood were done with makeup. The movie uses many styles we don't see in theaters much anymore, there are some points where no one speaks for up to five minutes and lets the visuals do the speaking. The camera angles are great, the acting is amazing, and the soundtrack is perfect for the mood the film is trying to convey.

The author's comments:

I would like you to please consider my movie review for "Night of the Living Dead," Rated R, 97 minutes.

My name is Luke Donabedian, I love movies making them. This movie was one of the best I've ever seen. Aside from movies, I like playing videogames and editing videos for public viewing. I am a junior at Methuen (MA) High School, and my favorite class is Electronic Media Production where students learn how to produce videos and write scripts.

This is a simultaneous submission.

Thank you,

Luke Donabedian

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