Movie Review: Remains (2011)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 2011 zombie movie starring Evalena Marie and Grant Bowler.

Synopsis: An event involving the destruction of all the world's nuclear weapons goes awry and the atomic explosion causes a zombie apocalypse. Among the survivors are a small group of people who have taken refuge inside a Reno, Nevada casino. They are safe. But, as their food supply starts to run out, they must find a way to escape the ever-growing army of zombies outside.

Review

As we started watching this movie last night, my wife said it was a film we had seen before, not long after it was released. However, while I had no reason to doubt her, I couldn't remember anything about the film and ended up watching it with her anyway. While it turned out to be slightly better than I thought it would (based on the first few minutes, I thought it was going to end up being a soft core porn flick), I can understand why the film was so forgettable the first time I allegedly watched it.

The movie, admittedly, has its moments. In particular, I liked the various personality clashes between Tom (Bowler) and Tori (Marie) as they bickered about what to do next. This, at times, proved to be somewhat funny as they worked to escape only to have one or both of them do something really stupid. I also found I liked the twist at the end, involving Tori's fate, just because it was something I honestly wasn't expecting.

My biggest problem with this movie is there is a very limited amount of action in it. There are a couple scenes when the main characters are in danger and one somewhat intense scene involving a group of armed strangers. But, a good chunk of this film involves people not doing much more than arguing. In fact, for a while, I was beginning to wonder if the zombies would have any sort of significant role in the film.

The movie also leaves a lot of questions unanswered. For one, I'm still not sure if being bitten by a zombie meant you turn into one (as is the case with most zombie films). There were a couple scenes that hinted at that possibility. But, it was never really confirmed. Even the one character that seems to have been turned could have simply died and come back to life because of the high amount of radiation that originally turned the others.

In addition, based on how the zombie apocalypse started, it seems highly unlikely it was more than an isolated problem. Even the one character, Cindy (Cypress), confirmed the zombie problem seemed to lessen the further they got away from the nuclear blast site. Yet, we never really learn if it was a global epidemic or if they would find safety simply by leaving Nevada. Had this been a slightly better movie, I probably wouldn't care as much. In fact, I probably would have even enjoyed the added mystery. But, in the case of this film, I do think that lack of information hurt it a bit.

Final Opinion

As I said before, it was better than I was expecting and, at very least, it didn't turn out to be a cleverly-disguised zombie porn film. However, there really isn't much about this movie that is overly memorable and I wouldn't recommend it as a result of that.

My Grade: C

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Updated: 01/08/2016, StevenHelmer
 
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