I have heard of this movie multiple times before, but this is the first time I have watched it. Thinking about it, I have always been interested in it but have never actually watched it because I was hesitating to watch something this dark (based on the poster and a few blogs). And quite frankly, I was right to assume so. I love the horror genre and enjoy watching various kinds of horror movies, from gore to meta-horror, but this kind (rape-horror) is something that I truly am not comfortable with.
I feel like there are so many aspects of this movie that make me uncomfortable, but for the same reason, make it a successful horror film. The first is the fact that it puts an interesting but horrific twist on the zombie character. It deviates from the standard idea of what a zombie is, meaning that the undead in this film is not the virus-triggered decaying flesh-eating aggressive kind that we are accustomed to. On the contrary, the “dead girl” in this movie appears to be physically normal (except for the non-healing wounds), is not aggressive until provoked and is of an unknown origin.
This is disconcerting for two reasons. The first is that zombie fans would not know what to do with this kind of zombie. What I mean by this is that I am sure that I am not the only person in the entire world who has dreamt of a zombie apocalypse and believes that they will be able to handle the situation. But this belief comes from watching how characters in zombie movies adapt to survive, such as how to kill zombies or finding the cure of the disease. And, all this information is based on the typical zombie character that has been used in several popular movies. Thus, watching Dead Girl makes a zombie fan quite uneasy because of the idea of a sudden apocalypse with zombies that we are not prepared to deal with.
The second reason is that the normality in the appearance and behavior of the dead girl may sometimes confuse the viewer. To be more specific, there are times that it seems as though she is a living normal girl. There are even moments when the viewer might think that she actually comprehends what is happening to her. The frequent shift of conceptions throughout the movie makes it quite horrific. When the viewer starts considering that the girl who is tied up and constantly raped by a number of boys is an actual person and not an “abomination,” then it becomes a possible situation that can happen (or may already be happening) in real life. This idea is the one that bothers me the most because it breaks the barrier between fiction and reality that I find comfort with in horror movies.
I think that the fact that I can handle horror movies well is that I know they are separate from me, that the moment the credits show, the story ends and does not continue in my life. But the fact that I am not entirely sure about the fictionality of the story or of the dead girl herself is truly an uncomfortable and terrifying thought.