October 24, 2010
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Director: Mark McQueen
Writer: Bart Ruspoli
Producers: Freddie Hutton-Mills/Bart Ruspoli/Jonathon Sothcott
Starring: Craig Fairbrass/Danny Dyer/Colin Salmon/Sean Pertwee/Jaime Murray
BBFC Certification: 18
Duration: 93 minutes
Danny Dyer stars in yet another British low-budget horror movie and this time, he’s fighting against a country of zombies. However, these zombies aren’t your ordinary slow-walking zombies, they’re free-running zombies. So Devil’s Playground is basically 28 Days Later with elements of Resident Evil and parkour zombies taking over with Danny Dyer being one of the lead survivors. The survivors have to find a way out of London to a safe place before they die from the clutches of impressive wall-jumping zombies. A question that pops into my head straight away is why can the zombies dive through open car windows without touching the sides and jump from wall-to-wall with style but yet they can’t get through a simple door? I know it’s a movie and I’m not supposed to take it so seriously but it’s still something that left me asking that question. Anyway, Devil’s Playground is actually surprisingly decent with an average storyline and a few impressive scenes. The story isn’t very strong however there are a couple of decent parts in the movie in which all of them involve zombies eating people and killing annoying characters. The characters in Devil’s Playground aren’t written brilliantly at all as you weren’t bothered whether the characters lived or died. You wanted the zombies to eat their mouths first to stop the bad dialogue all through the movie. There’s also a couple of characters in the movie who are policemen and it felt like they were placed there randomly even though we eventually find out who they are.
Devil’s Playground may have an awful script and some bad writing but the performances were mediocre. The actors in the movie include Jaime Murray, Craig Fairbrass and Danny Dyer. Jaime Murray gives out a decent performance, as does the other cast including Craig Fairbrass, he’s better in Devil’s Playground than he ever was in Dead Cert but the one thing that shocked me about Devil’s Playground was Danny Dyer, he was actually surprisingly good. His character’s personality is the same as Danny Dyer’s (as always) so it wasn’t too hard but there were a couple of times when Danny’s character had some emotional scenes and I thought he played them rather well. Now, while everything else about the movie isn’t really very good, there’s some positivity in form of the action scenes and, of course, the zombies. Devil’s Playground has had some good action scenes involving chasing and fighting and I would have to take my hat off to whoever thought of adding the parkour zombies as to me, that is a stroke of genius to use in a zombie movie. It makes them a little more scarier now that there’s certain things that can not slow them down and there were some impressive, slick moves and I wouldn’t mind seeing more zombies like that in future horror movies. Even though the idea of free-running zombies is quite a scary thought (well, it is to me anyway) and a great idea to use in a movie, Devil’s Playground isn’t a scary movie. It’s more of a violent thriller than a horror as there’s nothing to scare you or make you jump or make you feel insecure but there’s just the idea of faster zombies.
Just like 28 Days Later and other zombie movies, Devil’s Playground doesn’t offer us anything new and it’s all been done before but with a twist. Is the twist worth getting the movie? Not really, as the story is mediocre, the characters are annoying and the dialogue is close to awful. The only good things are the action scenes, which I have seen better in other zombie movies, and the zombies, which is a great idea. Basically, if you’ve seen 28 Days Later or Resident Evil, imagine those two mixed together but with Danny Dyer in it and you get Devil’s Playground.