Exit Humanity (2011)

I wanted to love “Exit Humanity,” but in the end I feel like there were just too many ideas for one film. “Exit Humanity” attempts to take a simply a period piece zombie movie and turn it in to a high concept art house film. So there’s narration (by the great Brian Cox), there’s an alleged journal chronicling the rise of the dead, there are animated wipes that progress to the next scene, there are animated sequences where our hero fights the walking dead, and there are an endless stream of flashbacks and nightmare sequences allegedly symbolizing the carnage of the situation at hand.

It seems like writer Geddes had so many concepts and gimmicks he wanted to put forth in the movie, that he injected as much as he could, without consideration to how uneven it would ultimately feel. Pair that up with the fact that “Exit Humanity” has little story to it, and it’s a recipe for confusion. “Exit Humanity” surely isn’t the worst zombie movie ever made. For an indie effort it strives in being gruesome and gritty, and offering zombies that are incredibly menacing and spooky to glimpse at. It’s just the movie provides us with a main character who is tasked with a dilemma that’s solved before the movie is even halfway finished. Mark Gibson plays Edward, a man who arrives home to discover his family has been slaughtered by zombies and his son is missing. In a quest to restore his life, he evades the rising hordes of the walking dead through the wilderness and looks for his missing son.

Geddes makes good use of this time to reflect on the madness of the situation, exploring Edward’s battle with the dead, and the quest to learn about their weaknesses and advantages. “Exit Humanity” only seems to have about forty minutes of story at hand as most of the dilemma is solved before the hour mark and the story seems to have no idea where to go next. From there, the script meanders back and forth from different conflict to different conflict, completely losing focus of Edward’s original quest to battle the zombies, and “Exit Humanity” falls victim to tedium.

There the inevitable rogue military soldiers, the search for a cure that goes awry, there are hints at a witches doing, and none of it really applies to the original motivation for the screenplay. “Exit Humanity” has a good idea and a great range of performances as well as grotesque zombie effects, it just needs a heaping helping of editing and at least twenty minutes trimmed from its running time to be a great horror film. Overlong, filled with too many ideas struggling to rise to the surface, and with a premise that meanders everywhere, “Exit Humanity” is a brutally flawed horror film that’s watchable thanks to the strong performances, the presence of Brian Cox, and the ace special effects.

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