Well GO USA
Release Date: July 11, 2023.
Sometimes, it’s not tough to determine just where a Filipino zombie flick will go when it’s titled Day Zero. After ex special forces’ agent Emon (Brandon Vera) gets freed from prison, the carnage begins right away! We don’t have to ask why he’s been put there. Instead, we just have to wonder how he managed to not get infected by the Dengue virus that’s caused many to turn into mindless human eating creatures.
This movie isn’t like Train to Busan with its better defined characters and sweeping cinematography. But what’s presented here shows just how much the hero wants to be together with his family. He’ll stop at nothing to get to this endpoint, and what’s presented is like a videogame, like Last of Us. This grungy world also shows a side of the Philippines rarely seen.
I had to chuckle at the irony when concerning this film’s scheduled home video release. As the world health organisation announced we’re no longer in a pandemic, movies made during or afterwards can have fun exploring the what ifs. Would anarchy roar to life because everyone is infected with some debilitating disease?
I doubt Ays De Guzman had that in mind when penning this tale. His brother Joey De Guzman directed, and what’s presented feels like Die Hard meets 28 Days Later. The pandemic presented here is in full swing, and all these hordes rushing to find fresh meat are picky eaters. As Emon lunges into the chaos with a goal in mind, I had to cheer! He slaughters everything just so he can be with his wife Sheryl (Mary Jean Lastimosa) and daughter Jane (Freya Fury Montierro). Had he been a normal civilian without the military training, he’d be dead in a heartbeat. Vera is a tank, and thankfully he can’t be taken down easily!
The early acts show just how close this family is. When Jane is a mute, there’s an instant connection to hope she will survive. As for any other survivor in this apocalypse, that’s hard to say. By act three, I wasn’t too sure where this film was headed. The nature of leaving some bits of the narrative in Day Zero open-ended suggests there’s more story to reveal. When considering this film leaves those invested asking more questions about how it all started, all I wondered is who is ready for round two? The violence isn’t too crazy, and as a zombie film, it’ll certainly satisfy most appetites for destruction.
3½ Stars out of 5
Day Zero Movie Trailer