What do you get if you cross the British soap opera Emmerdale with a zombie apocalypse? You get Before Dawn.
Not only does this latest gory, zombie horror star familiar Emmerdale regular Dominic Brunt, but he also directs it. There are further links to the popular Yorkshire TV show with co-stars Joanne Mitchell and Shameless’ Nicky Evans both of whom have made appearances in the soap. Add to this the idyllic countryside setting, and Before Dawn is a refreshing and original horror, with more than a touch of Yorkshire drama.
Escaping their monotonous life, Alex (Brunt) and Meg (Mitchell) are trying one last-ditch attempt to save their marriage. With Alex having recently lost his job and Meg surgically attached to her mobile, the oozing tension between the couple really sets the film off on unsteady footing, allowing unpredictability to flow as easy as the apprehension.
Soon after their arrival at an isolated cottage on the Yorkshire moors, Alex and Meg begin to feel they are not alone. With the strain between the couple at breaking point, the story fires up, releasing the first glimmers of what portends to be a zombie apocalypse. Although the indications start off with a distant scream and a trace of blood, the action soon comes thick and fast, testing the couple’s relationship to lengths they could never have predicted.
As Brunt’s directorial debut, Before Dawn is a true success – juxtaposing his much-loved Yorkshire countryside with zombie horror, this really is “gore on the moor”. The make-up artists deserve special mention for the horrifically realistic zombies, and although the movie world is near saturation point with films of the same genre, Before Dawn brings unique elements to the story, which side-step the traditional chain of events, avoiding clichés, and providing plentiful scares.
Admittedly, due to its niche target audience, this film will only appeal to fans of the horror/gore genre, but for his debut as director, Brunt is suitably impressive and will no doubt get better … A blood-filled, tense and entertaining 80 minutes.
Before Dawn is released in selected cinemas on 22nd February 2013.
Watch the trailer for Before Dawn here: