Don’t Grow Up
The zombie genre, rather like it’s namesake, is turning out to be rather difficult to kill. Happily, rather than stick to the same old rigid tropes, many directors have opted for a twist on this well-worn formula and Theirry Poiraud’s Don’t Grow Up fits rather comfortably in this niche.
Part zombie horror/thriller, part teen drama, the film takes place on a remote unnamed island and follows a group of teenage delinquents who find themselves isolated during a frightening outbreak that seems to affect only adults, turning them into unstoppable rage machines. The group, themselves teetering on the brink of adulthood, try their best to survive but there’s a catch: it’s not only the grownups they have to worry about, the children of the island are on the prowl too and they all, rather inexplicably, have guns.
The premise is undoubtedly an interesting one but the film rarely touches on it, preferring instead to focus on the characters who are, unfortunately, rather dull. Perhaps it’s the clumsy script or the weak acting but as much as the film tries hard to create a fully fleshed-out cast, it just falls flat. The world it takes place in is flimsy and poorly conceived. There isn’t enough buildup or background for the film to be truly tense and, though there are a few shocking moments, the narrative ends up confusing and badly paced.
The cinematography though, is absolutely breathtaking: wherever this island is it has some spectacular scenery that is put to good use. And though there are few weak links, the young cast shows promise with Darren Evans (Shawn) being the standout and newcomer Madeleine Kelly as lead Pearl, having potential.
Don’t Grow Up feels on the whole rather rushed and stretched, as though Poiraud attempted to cover far too many genres in one film. With a decent script and a better considered plot, perhaps it could have been excellent.
Don’t Grow Up does not have a UK release date yet.