It’s “Night of the Living Dead Yuppies” in what is easily one of the most asinine foreign zombie movies of the year. In a year where we were able to see brilliant zombie fare like “Train to Busan” and “Seoul Station,” it’s sad we have “What We Become,” a pretty frustrating horror drama that ends just as it begins to pick up steam. It’s not really a zombie movie, but it feels like one heavy handed commentary on how vicious and cruel we become when we’re faced with the task of surviving and caring for one another. It’s nothing we haven’t seen covered in George Romero’s films, or “The Walking Dead,” before. Yes, when faced with survival, we will tear each other’s throats out for a can of beans, the military is shifty and violent, the elderly are usually the first to go, and deep down we’re all selfish bastards. Also kids never stay in the damn house, even during a zombie apocalypse.
Set in the Danish suburb of Sorgenfri, we meet a small family that has suddenly been thrust in to the center of a mysterious virus that has spread all over their neighborhood and surrounding suburbs. As the sick begin to rise, and the infection spreads, the suburbs are closed off and locked down, as well as heavily monitored by the military. Before long, dad Dino and his family begin to observe the activity of the military hoping to outlast the infection and find out what’s occurring. Director and writer Bo Mikkelson sets up the idea that the military are just treating the hosts as guinea pigs, before long that plot element is oddly dropped. We’re then fed another zombie movie. By the second half it becomes apparent we’re following a group of really stupid and idiotic characters, all of whom act well beyond any kind of logic or common sense. Every character is written as either painfully selfish, or inept, including young son Gustav, who seems hell bent on helping his next door neighbor and risking his life for her, just for the sake of sex.
Dad Dino is depicted as gullible and clueless while mom Pernille is inexplicably cruel most of the time she’s on screen. Mikkelson also sets up a lot of plot points he never answers. So is the infection airborne or not? Are the dead conscious some how? Why are they attracted by light? What is it about the dark that makes them drift off? Do head shots bring them down like normal zombies? How did the infection spread? Why did some of the dead drift back to their old homes? Did the military have the infection under control or not? Was Denmark infected or just the small suburb of Sorgenfri? “What We Become” clocks in at seventy seven minutes, and doesn’t pick up team until fifty minutes, and then the narrative simply screeches to a halt. “What We Become” feels like a tired retread of zombie fodder we’ve seen a dozen times before; it’s a sub-par and forgettable horror drama asking for a lot of investment in a story that goes nowhere.
The release from Scream Factory comes with a DVD copy of the film. The release only comes with the original trailer for the film, which clocks in at almost two minutes.