As Halloween is just around the corner, it's no surprise that I've been reviewing a lot of horror movies lately. While I'll be doing my Captivity review next, I'll first address a slightly more lighthearted "horror movie" called Fido.
Fido, you say, that's not a title for a horror movie! No, of course not. Fido is a movie about a boy and his loving pet, an inseparable bond and the adventure they go through. The boy is lonely, friendless and the offspring of two rather awkward parents, and lives in a surrealistic suburbia that seems like something out of "Leave it to Beaver" meets The Stepford Wives. Sure, Fido bites neighbors from time to time, but that's what pets do. Unfortunately, Fido is a zombie, so when he bites people those people turn into zombies, who subsequently bite more people and they turn into zombies, and... well, you get the point.
For the most part, Fido is not your traditional zombie movie. While it does have a little bit of gore and dismemberment, it isn't a movie about zombies taking over the world, and it isn't a comedy like Shaun of the Dead that makes fun of them, either. It truly is about a boy and his pet, and that pet just happens to be a zombie (a company has created a collar that removes the desire for flesh from a zombie - it just so happens that Fido's collar is a bit defective at times).
Ultimately, Fido is an entertaining but not particularly memorable zombie picture. The movie intentionally feels like it's out of the 1950's, and I liked how writer/director Andrew Currie (man, his name makes me hungry for Indian food) managed to place flesh-eating creatures in the middle of a satire about small town America. The acting all around is quite good, and you'll recognize Carrie Anne-Moss and Dylan Baker, but probably not young K'Sun Ray, who plays Timmy. Is his name really K'Sun? And you certainly won't recognize Billy Connelly, who is completely unidentifiable as the title character.
There are some funny parts and a few sequences where you're really rooting for Fido to kick some butt and defend his owner, but overall the picture feels like it is missing something. Even if it is meant to be more of a comedy, Fido lacks a certain degree of tension or excitement that one would expect from a zombie flick of any nature. You never really feel like zombies are going to take over the world, which is fine, but there's never really a threat of anything else happening, either. And even if you can get past the lack of tension, Fido just isn't funny enough to support its concept for an hour and a half.
Zombie fans should still check out Fido, and it certainly isn't a bad picture - it just isn't a particularly memorable picture. Currie could have done so much more with the concept, but as is we have to settle for a moderately entertaining but sometimes dull zombie flick.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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