a critiQal film review Patient Zero (2018)

Plot: After an unprecedented global pandemic turns the majority of humankind into violent "Infected," a man (Smith) gifted with the ability to speak the Infected's new language leads the last survivors on a hunt for Patient Zero and a cure.

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  • ...despite trying something new in the genre, this film - aside from a strong performance from Stanley Tucci - is surprisingly dull.

During this October Month of Horror, things just wouldn’t be complete without a zombie movie, right? And that’s why we went with the new film, Patient Zero. Despite its limited theatrical run, would it be a new , or were we in for just some moronic blood-and-guts?

Matt Smith and Natalie Dormer star in Patient Zero. While they both do decent enough jobs, Matt’s performance isn’t quite as believable as Natalie’s. Natalie really conveys a sense of determination through hopelessness, and the viewer can empathize over the course of the film. Matt, on the other hand, plays an odd duck of a character, and viewers can never really connect with him.

The rest of the cast is okay, but mostly seem like actors from a B movie. The notable exception, of course, is Stanley Tucci. Although his appearance is limited, he conveys a sense of cool evil that seems to go beyond the sorta shlocky picture its a part of. Once he appears, then the viewer really starts getting into the film. He’s definitely a villain that will catch the viewer’s attention…and just when it’s starting to wane too.

Give Patient Zero a little credit. It does try to put a new spin on the whole zombie flick. By providing basically a translator to interpret zombie speech for humans, the viewer gets a new insight into what is going on. This is a huge change from previous films, as zombies have always been portrayed as mindless creatures. Of course, this does lead down a path that viewers can pretty much guess at, but at least they tried something different.

The special effects are decent enough, albeit rather minimal. Aside from cutting off an arm, most of the effects consist of “zombies” jumping on people and “blood” spurting out. Simplistic, yet it’s pretty effective. Not bad. Although what’s up with zombies and vampires having golden eyes? That seems to be a trend lately, although where it came from, who knows.

With Stanley Tucci performing on a different level than pretty much everyone around him, he manages to make what was becoming a rather dull zombie flick into something a little more mind-involving and entertaining – at least for a little while. Unfortunately, he’s not around for a lot of Patient Zero. Despite them trying something new in the zombie genre, the film as a whole ends up being a bit silly and kinda dull. At least we have Stanley Tucci to up the enjoyment factor for a bit.

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