Sunday, October 20, 2013

TADFF13: My Thoughts on Stalled

stalled

In this new British zombie comedy, a janitor cheekily named W.C. (Dan Palmer) hides out in the ladies washroom after stealing a toolbox full of money at an office Christmas party.  As it turns out, it is the start of the zombie apocalypse and the undead start filing into the washroom.  W.C. barricades himself into one of the stalls and has to find a way to escape from his predicament.  He soon finds out that he is accompanied by a woman (Antonia Bernath) trapped in an adjacent stall, who W.C. visualizes using a drawing on the wall.  Together, they brainstorm how they will survive this long zombie-filled Christmas Eve.

I have to say that the biggest challenge faced by Stalled is how it can remain interesting, despite the entire film being in a single location.  There have been films that have done this premise successfully in the past, such as Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth and Rodrigo Cort├ęs’ Buried.  I have to say that, while I thought that Stalled was an OK film, it was far from the best zombie film that I have seen.  This is mostly because the film is much more about avoiding zombies, than killing them.  While there are definitely some great zombie deaths in the film (and one great surprise zombie scare), I found they were few are far between.  Also, this is probably one of the few zombie films I have seen, which actually has zombies saying “BRAAAAAAINS,” which comes off as quite campy.

One element of the film that does work by the end is the friendship W.C. develops with the girl trapped in the adjacent stall.  While their lengthy conversations, which consists solely of W.C. talking to a drawing on the wall, does get monotonous at times, a very real rapport develops between the two.  In fact, probably one of the best moments of the film comes when W.C. finally finds out who he has been talking to for the whole film.  Another enjoyable moment in the film is a dream sequence, which has W.C. doing some zombie dancing in the hallway.  It is also one of the few moments of the film, where the action leaves the washroom setting.

While there are undoubtedly better zombie films out there, I have to say that Stalled still had some enjoyment moments to it.  While I probably would have liked the film more if it had more zombie killing, perhaps it is for the best that the film went in another direction, since killing zombies in many gory ways is getting kind of old.  Overall, I give the film a mild recommendation.

7 | FAIR