Night of the Living Dead

1968 [english]

Horror / Thriller

Night of the Living Dead

1968 [english]

Horror / Thriller

97%
87%
7.9

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97% - Critics
87% - Audience
7.9

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Synopsis

Barbra and Johnny visit their father's grave in a remote cemetery when they are suddenly set upon by zombies. Barbra manages to get away and takes refuge in what seems to be an abandoned farm house. She is soon joined by Ben who stopped at the house in need of gas. Beset by the walking dead all around them Ben does his best to secure the doors and windows. The news reports are grim however with creatures returning to life everywhere. Barbra and Ben are surprised when they realize there are 5 people hiding out in the basement: Harry, Helen and Karen Cooper; and a young couple, Tom and Judy. Dissensions sets in almost immediately with Harry Cooper wanting to be in charge. As their situation deteriorates, their chances of surviving the night lessen minute by minute. —garykmcd.

Uploaded By: FREEMAN

Aug 15, 2021 at 10:00 PM

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grade Movie Reviews

  • Reviewed by sunheadbowed grade 10 / 10

    The ugliness of human nature.

    You can almost time it to the exact second (around 72 mins in) when audiences stopped grinning and laughing behind their hands, expecting just another safe, silly horror film, and started feeling completely and utterly terrified.Before that moment, teenagers didn't get blown up and have their intestines eaten on screen -- it simply didn't happen; everyone always survived in the end, it was fun to be afraid because everyone would be OK when the credits rolled (and this was a period when people took what happened on the big screen a lot more seriously than we do now or ever will again).George A. Romero's debut film doesn't just kill off the sweet innocent teenagers (in the aforementioned most gruesome fashion) -- which would become a staple of horror, along with zombies themselves -- he kills off everyone. Even the film's brave hero, a black man with a shotgun (a subversive decision in itself for the 1960s) gets shot in the head by a pack of zombie-hunting white men and tossed on a bonfire to end the film (the ending is filmed in photographic stills, which creates a somehow more disturbing, documentary-like grisly realism conclusion to the events).What's truly scary about 'Night of the Living Dead' isn't the zombies, it is the behaviour of human beings: it doesn't matter what kind of monster or demon you survive a battle with, in the end it's the ugliness of human nature that is going to defeat you. And for that reason the film will always resonate, no matter how badly the acting and low budget effects age.


  • Reviewed by mstomaso grade 9 / 10

    Low budget, creepy and unique - legendary for a reason

    This landmark 1968 horror-shocker is a great example of what can be done with a limited budget, a simple idea, and some dedicated and talented participants. Very nicely shot, mostly well acted, NOTLD grabs your attention from the very beginning to the very end - and what a classic end it is.The story begins with Barbara (Judith O'Dea) and her brother visiting the grave of a friend of their mother, and takes off almost immediately, as they are attacked by a horde of cannibalistic zombies. Narrowly escaping, but losing her emotional balance in the process, Barbara escapes to a house a bit farther down the road where she meets Ben (Duane Jones), the hero of the film. They discover a family with a sick little girl and a young couple in the basement of the house and they all get to work barricading themselves in and preparing weapons and other defenses. The rest of the story concerns the group dynamics between these survivors as the dead close in on their refuge, the story of what is going on in the rest of the USA - revealed through TV reportage and radio broadcasts, and sheer survival. The human side of this film is an interesting and accurate character study concerning what happens to people whose very lives are threatened.The horror of this film is, unlike a lot of its recent descendants, less a matter of blood and gore than a matter of the real active horror of realistically depicted scenes of murder, death and cannibalism. Though the black and white footage involving blood and gore is certainly effective, there may not be quite enough of it for today's average horror fan. The photographic techniques of this film are innovative and powerful - showing just enough of the sheer hideousness of the film's basic concepts to disturb viewers, but not enough to allow them to detach from the film's protagonists.I strongly recommend this film to anybody interested in the art of film making, and to those who enjoy the horror genre, though it is hard to imagine any serious horror fan who hasn't already seen this.


  • Reviewed by ww_sketcher grade 10 / 10

    A True Horror Classic that changed all Horror films that followed it

    Night of the Living Dead is a true classic and without a doubt Romero's best and most influential film.Of course, being simply influential alone would not simply allow this movie to get a full-fledged star rating if it didn't pull through with it some quality at all, which it does in spades. In Night of the Living Dead, there is good pacing, surprisingly good acting from a list of no-name actors, and the most important part that sticks with the film to this day, the sense of dread in the film. In this movie to this day you get that feeling of hopelessness, people get attacked for no reason and nothing can save them. Whether it's family-togetherness, love between a couple, or even the law-enforcers at the end, this was all tapping into the uncertainty level people were having at the time and still today it has meaning. Topping this off with Romero's (at the time) large use of gore adds to the overall uneasiness of the film. Finally at the film's current times, there is a great subtle final nail in the coffin attack with the sad fate of the character Ben. Being the only sole voice of reason is shot, which, at the time of filming brought harsh realities of such other African-American leaders who were brought down unfairly such as Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, even if this wasn't the original idea Romero had.Overall, no matter how cheesy some of this movie make look to modern eyes, Night of the Living Dead is a classic for offering horror without a shred of hope, forever influencing every horror movie in it's wake.


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