Autumn (2009)

Billions are struck down by a mysterious virus leaving the few survivors in a state of shock. When the dead start to rise, Michael (Dexter Fletcher), Carl (Dickon Tolson) and Emma (Lana Kamenov) decide that the city is no longer safe; they set out in search of a more secure location in the countryside.

Autumn has gotten some really bad reviews, most of which it deserves, but the truly frustrating thing is that most of the flaws were avoidable. The editing was clumsy: some scenes went nowhere and seemed to have little point; one character had a particular motorbike at one point and the model changed for no apparent reason, then changed back a few scenes later; and there were at least three points when the frame was clearly paused for no apparent reason. The soundtrack was far worse than the editing: music cutting off mid-scene; unrealistically loud background effects (like footsteps); muffled dialogue; music not fitting the mood; argh! If ever a movie suffered from being the last editing job on a Friday evening then Autumn is it. 
There are some good points though, most relating to the story. Autumn is based on a book of the same name by David Moody, originally released for free online; it became successful, inspiring the creation of four sequels, the rights to which were acquired by Thomas Dunne Books in 2008. Watching the movie makes you want to read the books because the story does contain some interesting and unique elements.
The zombie virus in Autumn, which takes out most of the worlds’ population in a matter of minutes, works in a slightly different way than you are used to. Those not immune to the virus immediately seem to die, and only after an incubation period of a day do they mobilise again but slowly; initially they have no aggression at all and the danger comes from their apparent decomposition but their behaviour gradually evolves into something more sinister. The dialogue was engaging, with some nice zombie-apocalypse logic here and there, making you think that someone actually considered about some of the problems at hand; and it was well executed by Fletcher, with Tolson and Kamenov doing a good job too. David Carradine’s role as a crazy old man, surrounded by the undead, was thoroughly enjoyable but much too brief.

Watch Autumn for the reasons stated ignoring its many flaws … if you can.

2 out of 5.

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