Follow The Dead is Adam William Cahill’s feature-length debut. The zombie comedy is set in Ireland and aims to put a modern spin on the walking undead. Is the first-time writer-director able to breathe life into a played put genre?
Robbie (Luke Corcoran) lives in the small town of Ferbane with his sister, aspiring “internet personality” Liv (Marybeth Herron), and cousins Jay (Luke Collins) and Chi (Tadhg Devery). Liv’s concerned about the videos coming out of Dublin depicting zombies overrunning the city. Robbie is certain they are fake, while Jay and Chi don’t seem to care one way or the other.
Robbie’s personal life gets turned upside when his wife, Kate (Cristina Ryan), knocks on his door. The thing is, she’s doing so in her official capacity as a member of the Garda. She informs him there’s a town hall tomorrow to discuss recent events. The meeting devolves into madness, with townsfolk pitted against each other. See, whether the zombies are real or not, there are butchers going all over the country, killing people under the guise of a “revolution.” Will Robbie’s inherent apathy do him in, or will he discover his inner passion for protecting his loved ones?
“…whether the zombies are real or not, there are butchers going all over the country, killing people…”
Follow The Dead bills itself as a comedy, but it features a healthy dose of horror and drama. The bonds between Robbie and Liv and Robbie and Kate are heartfelt and genuine. In fact, the best scenes in the film stem from their serious conversations, either about moving on, facing difficulties or coming clean with why they did certain things. Such rich character details are also present in Jay and Chi, particularly in the latter’s shockingly observant asides.
This isn’t to imply that the movie is not funny, as it certainly is. Several scenes are either goofy or amusingly absurd. The beginning, wherein Robbie’s date asks a police officer to drive her back, is hilarious. Also funny is Chi’s lack of understanding of any social cues. He just walks into the living room and plunks on the couch, no matter who is saying what to who.
The cast really makes Follow The Dead that much better, as the ensemble shares great chemistry. Corcoran capably brings Robbie’s blasé attitude to life, while Ryan makes audiences understand her character’s motivations with ease. Herron is so sweet and charming that she’s impossible to resist. Devery is delightful at all times, playing dumb and thoughtful with aplomb. Colins’ dry delivery never fails to make one laugh.
Follow The Dead is a funny, dramatic play on familiar zombie stories. The cast is uniformly superb, while Cahill balances the tone nicely. The pacing is tight, and the plot never loses momentum after introducing all the delightful characters.
"…a funny, dramatic play on familiar zombie stories,"