Twitter Plot Summary: Zombies rampage across India, albeit very, very slowly. An American tries to save his Indian girlfriend.
Taking its cue from the original The Dead, The Dead 2: India runs with the idea of a zombie apocalypse taking place in a part of the world that hasn’t previously been explored in wider zombie cinema. An outbreak taking place in India is instantly a great idea due to its dense population. The virus makes its way to India via a man who was bitten in the Somali outbreak, and before you know it the dead are walking around and nibbling on unsuspecting people.
It’s not too dissimilar to the first The Dead, which is no bad thing in itself, but it sticks quite rigidly to the structure of that film without doing anything particularly new with that formula. The location is slightly different and some of the methods of avoiding the undead are new – one sequence early on sees our lead using a powered parachute to get above the undead horde – but otherwise it’s near enough a beat for beat retread.
An American contractor working in India, Nicholas Burton (Joseph Millson) is working some 300 miles away from his girlfriend, local girl Ishani (Meenu Mishra) when the dead start to attack the living. By hook or by crook, he’s going to make it through to rescue her. She meanwhile gets to sit back in a zombie-infested city and do very little except look surprised.
The sections following Burton as he makes his way across the country are decent, with emphasis on his grief at having to shoot people. He’s not your usual gung-ho military American presence which is a refreshing change. Less successful are those that focus on Ishani and her parents. It’s less to do with the woman playing her mother, as all she has to do is lie down and pretend to have a zombie bite. No, the issue lies with the man playing her father (Sandip Datta Gupta). There are perhaps better ways of dressing it up, but the fact of the matter is he’s not a very good actor and any scene with him in it is dragged down.
Meanwhile, directors Howard and Jonathan Ford are good at making zombie attacks dramatic and nail biting experiences for the audience, despite these being your classic “slow” zombies. There are a number of rather attractive shots layered throughout as well, so they know what they’re doing when it comes to this side of the process. They are less successful in teasing out good performances from their actors, but this may be something that is substantially outside of their control. Who’s to say that they haven’t got the very best out of the actors selected for this film?
These days it’s interesting to see how film makers manage to make slow zombies scary again, especially since the introduction of sprinting zombies/infected in 2002. If there is a third film in the series then it would be nice to see them expand on the format, work on their story structure and do something unique, and to perhaps not have an American in the lead role to freshen things up. The Dead 3: Antarctica, anyone?