Short of the Week

Rest

The zombie art-house film that will have you feeling a spot of compassion for the undead.

Valentine’s Day might’ve just passed, but great love stories are always in season. And Rest, a story about a fallen WWI soldier unearths himself 90 years later and begins a long journey home that takes him across the continents, is one of the most unconventional you’ll find.

Since the release of Romero’s Dawn of the Dead in 1978, zombie films have cultured a devout following. It’s a film genre that, miraculously, never seems to age (pardon the pun) finding new fans every few years with the release of a film that redefines the genre (28 Days Later, Shawn of the Dead). And once again, the short film, Rest by Cole Schreiber, redefines our attitude toward the undead.

In fact, Rest remixes the genre so much that if weren’t for the iconic zombie makeup (done by Chris Proctor), you might miss mistake it for an art house film. It lacks a few common zombie film ingredients like a mysterious virus, fast-paced shaky chase scenes, and creative head-shots. Actually, in Rest, there’s no killing at all.

And that’s a good thing. Because Rest isn’t about gore and cheap thrills. It’s about showing us that you can take anything, even something as inhuman and disgusting as a zombie, and make us love the unlovable.

Rest is shot beautifully with special effects done by The Mill in NYC. The film is a bit long, but the slower pace helps draw you into the mood of the film and the payoff at the end is worth it.

Will zombies become the new vampires—sexy creatures that inspire teams of adoring fans? Maybe not, but this may be the first time you feel a hint of compassion for one.

~
Andrew makes no attempt to hide his love for the magic art of animation. He appreciates compelling visuals but never forgets that in this modern age, a strong story always reigns supreme. You can see his work at andrewsallen.com or his latest film The Thomas Beale Cipher.
  • joey joey

    This is a gorgeous film with a beautiful score, but unfortunately I didn’t find the payoff (the ending) worth it.  If I may add my 2 cents: I think it may have been more compelling if we knew from the get-go the zombie was out to find his lost love.  And as he treks across the ocean and the continental US, we accompany him on his painful, fish-out-of-water 21st century obstacle-filled journey: gawkers (living humans who simply think he’s wearing really good zombie makeup), oblivious good samaritans, thieves, homeless people, opportunists, etc.  It could be comedic, sad or both.  And it could be done without dialogue, just as it is currently.  No doubt you’d feel for the zombie, relate to him, root for him.  As it is currently, I’m not sure this empathy gets across.

  • http://www.andrewsallen.com Andrew S Allen

    Hard to empathize with any zombie, but this one gets about as much as a zombie can from me!