Something terrible is probably in that room.
Dead Girl bills itself as a 'new horror classic' and a 'genre-busting experience' and while that sounds a bit arrogant, it is in some ways true. It's a solid movie, it's easily one of the better and more innovative horror films of the last few years, and it manages to make the well-worn coming-of-age plot seem fresh and relevant without beating you over the head with it, most of the time.
It starts a little rough. The two main characters, a fast talking asshole named JT and his moody, young-Johhny-Depp-channeling sidekick Rickie, spend the intro lounging around at the high school making the 'duck face' at girls and looking like complete douche bags. However, once they decide to skip class to wander around abandoned buildings and throw 40oz's at walls, the film switches gears and they become either more relateable, or more tolerable. Either way, the intro may contain a few missteps, but this film picks up in a few minutes and doesn't let go.
By and large, this is a movie about growing up. We see Rickie have issues with girls, with his parents, with, as the plot progresses, his friends. The only things that make these stale themes interesting in this film is the way they tie in to the titular 'Dead Girl.'
I'm just going to say this, and it really isn't a spoiler. Anyone who'se seen the box and read the tagline -'You never forget your first time' - knows what this movie is about. It's about people having sex with a female zombie. It's not particularly graphic in terms of what it shows during the necrophiliac lovemaking, but it's not a movie you'd want to watch with your grandparents, or anyone you ever want to have sex with.
The film uses the Dead Girl for all sorts of explorations into the nature of relationships, of sex, of crazy teenage hormones and the mess they can make. To it's credit, it doesn't beat you over the head with much, choosing instead to imply and throw together a few quirky events that tie together well.
Luckily, people are starting to realize that, at this point, we've seen zombie movies before. We're tired of watching zombies attack people taking shelter in a house. This is one of the first sort of new zombie movies to take that idea to heart- to create a film about something in which zombies happen to be in, instead of a film where the mere presence of zombies is supposed to be enough.
Dead Girl (2009)
Directed by Gadi Harel, Marcel Sarmiento.
Written by Trent Haaga.
Starring Shiloh Fernandez, Noah Segan, Jenny Spain, Michael Bowen, Candice Accola.