Movie Review: Dead Set (2008)

Synopsis: During a fictitious series of Big Brother, the zombie apocalypse occurs but the housemates don’t know anything about what’s happening outside the house.

Director: Assorted

Starring: Jamie Winstone, Kevin Eldon and more

Review: This series came out at the height of the ‘Big Brother’ franchise and it’s a fun parody on the idea of being locked away in the Big Brother house with no information about the zombie apocalypse that awaits when you get out. It also plays with the characters and how they behaved in the house to their survival skills once outside.

Dead Set slickly made with a quality script which plays well with the idea of Big Brother and zombies. There is a lot of ‘handheld’ camera action and short scenes which can be a little disorientating. It is very ‘choppy’ with shots not lasting longer than about 30seconds but this keeps the action moving well, although could affect those who suffer from motion sickness (I had to keep looking away from the screen at times).

Much of the initial information about the growing zombie apocalypse is shown by way of the news on the screen, much in the same way it’s shown in Shaun of the Dead (2004). I also liked the way that people were so focussed on doing their jobs that assorted technology going down was deemed more of an inconvenience than a warning sign of the end of the world. It seemed to slowly ramp up the tension, rather than a big disaster. 

There’s a host of characters, many of which fall into the stereotypical groups found in apocalypse movies (or reality TV shows): the last girl standing, the unlikely hero, selfish jerk who’ll sacrifice anyone to survive, the slut, the right vs left wing but all played their parts well. However, due to them all being so stereotypical, it was hard to like many of the characters, and I was only ‘rooting’ for about three to survive! I liked the cameo from Davina McCall and all her naysayers will enjoy seeing her demise. 

I was never a huge fan of Big Brother, although I did like the first season due to the novelty value so this brought back a lot of memories. It doesn’t add anything new to the zombie lore as 28 Days Later did in 2002 but does breathe a little life into a bloated genre.

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