Ever since a minor copyright incident caused Georgia A. Romero’s 1968 classic Night of the Living Dead to be relegated to the public domain there have been tons of filmmakers trying to cash in on the popularity and name of that film with their own take on the material. One of the latest is director Douglas Schutze’s Mimesis: Night of the Living Dead (2011). A group of horror fans at a party awaken the next morning to find they are living as characters from the film Night of the Living Dead and carrying out events from that film in new and horrifying ways.
This more modern take on the material finds our main characters believing that the dead have returned to the land of the living to kill them all. It is a very self-aware film as the characters recognize the film they are forced to relive as well as the common tropes of all horror films as they realize they are trapped in a simple farmhouse in a siege scenario. The film is actually very entertaining and brings new material and ideas to the zombie genre especially in its look at the home invasion film which takes a bigger emphasis in the final third of the film.
Mimesis has a lot of original ideas going for it wrapped in the disguise of a classic horror film and you can be forgiven for thinking that this film is just another uninspired knock-off of Romero’s classic like the 2006 film Night of the Living Dead 3D (and its 2012 sequel Re-Animation) as well as last year’s Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection. This is one of the unofficial films that actually pay homage to the original while also presenting enough original ideas to make it worth even the most jaded Romero fan’s time.