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Yesterday (2009) - Film Review

Rob Grant’s 2009 Zombie film YESTERDAY was filmed three years ago in the summer of 2006. It took just 31 days to film. Grant and three of his college graduate friends managed to cobble together the $12,000 Canadian budget to make it. This may be a tiny budget in the movie world, but it was quite a challenge for Grant and his friends. Shot on such a low budget, on 16mm film with an inexperienced crew, the team worked tirelessly after school to edit and finish the film, this could have been a total waste of time, but with great screenwriting and plenty of enthusiastic actors Yesterday is actually not bad at all. Grant tells me he could be on the brink of landing a distribution deal, and I hope he’s right, because this film deserves more than the few festival screenings it’s had so far.

The film centres around 6 strangers who each have their own side story, these stories soon reach a dead-end when after chance meetings during a zombie outbreak they end up fleeing to the
wilderness together in a bid for survival. As it turns out, they are as much under threat from each other as they are from the zombies.

There’s nothing particularly new here, as far as the story goes it’s just another zombie movie, what it lacks in originality though, it makes up for with a great, fun script, and surprisingly good actors. They make up an eclectic mix of characters: Office workers Graham (Jesse Wheeler) and Dave (Mike Fenske), shooting expert Mike (Mike Kovac), lovebird Chris (Graham Wardle), and bad guys Rob (Justin Sproule) and Lewis (Scott Wallis).

Whilst Wheeler and Fenske work really well together as Graham and Dave, giving us a few good laughs, the character that shines the most is Rob, this nasty, and yet amusing lunatic is very well played by Sproule and he kept me very entertained.

Yesterday’s zombies are nothing special, their eyes leak bloody tears, and though there are more make-up effects on the odd few of them, generally they aren’t very scary. Like George A Romero’s zombies, most of the zombies stumble around slowly, unfortunately Grant chooses to have the odd few who can run, and I would have preferred it if they didn’t, with the lack of fantastic make-up effects the ones that can move normally end up looking too ordinary. There’s something more ghoulish about these brainless creatures walking around, working solely on instinct, bumbling along en mass that makes Romero’s zombies more sinister than their faster moving modern counterparts.

Not as scary as some zombie films Yesterday still has some good gore and tension, but it certainly won’t give you nightmares. It’s as funny as it is scary.

The direction is good, though some of the scenes are shot at too close range, and there’s quite a bit of static camera work going on, but given the budget and time constraints Grant was working with, he did good.

Whilst this film isn’t exceptional, it has great dialogue, is acted well, and is pretty entertaining. I really hope it gets that distribution deal, and look forward to seeing what Rob Grant comes up with next.

YESTERDAY (2009) Director: Rob Grant. Writer: Rob Grant. Cast: Jesse Wheeler, Mike Fenske, Mike Kovac, Graham Wardle, Justin Sproule, Scott Wallis

Update: DVD now available see HERE for details.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review, it's awesome to get reviews ahead of time! Really lookin' forward to watching the film when it's released.can't wait to see this site expand, it's already great but it's gonna be awesome!! Keep up the good work. It's great to have some reviews from this side of the pond for a change!