GFF 2012 Review – Lockdown: Red Moon Escape
Qatari zombie movie with interesting approach and direction let down by weak storytelling
The prospect of an Arab horror film is certainly an interesting one. Therefore, we at MEMovies were really excited to see Lockdown, an Arabic zombie film, and probably the first of its kind.
The film begins with two friends, Saif and Rashid going on a simple trip. All goes wrong when they are attacked by zombies in the middle desert. Saif manages to escape, but his friend Rashid is not as fortunate. Saif’s fortune doesn’t last long however, as he is imprisoned by a mysterious military group who seem to have a strange relationship with the occult. Saif finds in a prison filled with strange creatures and monsters, all of whom are awaiting the arrival of the mysterious Shahdab to set them free.
This is the filmmakers’ debut feature film, and it is admirable that they tackle horror films, a difficult genre, on their first effort. Unfortunately, their inexperience in storytelling is very apparent. While the film’s beginning does its job in introducing the story, the plot soon slows down to a lumbering pace that does very little to move the story forward, and despite the lengthy monologues scattered throughout, the characters remain drastically underdeveloped. The doctor was really cool though.
This is especially sad considering that from a technical point of view, the film is very good. The filmmakers know exactly what they’re doing in terms of filming, lighting, and special effects. The direction sets the mood perfectly for a horror film, and the special effects are surprisingly good for such an independent project by first time filmmakers. As such, it is sad that there wasn’t a good story to go with it.
Arabic horror films are almost unheard of, and we commend the directors from bringing such a genre in Arabic form. However, the Arabic region is ripe with stories and myths that would be great for a horror film, and Arabs don’t need to borrow western horror myths (vampires, werewolves…etc) to make their own horror films, especially when theirs plenty of Arabic material to draw from.
Despite the shortcomings of Lockdown, it is a commendable effort on its makers’ part, and we look forward to future projects from the filmmakers.
“Ever seen a vegetarian zombie?”
The actors of the film all used to be part of the same workshop organized by the filmmakers.