Brain Freeze Comedy

Fantasia Festival Review: ‘Brain Freeze’ is a Blood-Splattered Homage to the Legacy of George A. Romero

August 25, 2021Ben MK

In 1968, an independent filmmaker by the name of George A. Romero released a little film called Night of the Living Dead. Ever since then, the zombie genre has exploded to include everything from semi-serious spoofs like Shaun of the Dead to video game adaptations like the action-packed Resident Evil series. Now, Quebec director Julien Knafo is serving up his own unique contribution to Romero's legacy — and you can bet that brains will be on the menu.

Set in the affluent, gated community of Peacock Island, the story follows Dan (Roy Dupuis), a security guard and amateur survivalist. Every day, Dan and his daughter Patricia (Marianne Fortier) drive from their home on the mainland to the island, where he patrols the neighborhood and she works at the local golf course. However, when Peacock becomes ground zero for a zombie outbreak and the government destroys the only bridge in or out, Dan must put his survival skills to use and figure out a way to save his family. Teaming up with a high school student named André (Iani Bédard), who is forced to flee his home with his baby sister after their mother becomes infected, Dan sets out to find a way to escape before the entire island is wiped off the map. But with the company responsible for the catastrophe — Biotech M — dispatching their ruthless cleanup crew to erase all evidence, will he and André succeed before they're either killed or turned into zombies themselves?

Drawing clear inspiration from other entries in the genre — most notably, the corporate conspiracy aspect of the aforementioned Resident Evil franchise — the result makes for a reasonably entertaining and darkly comedic take on a tried-and-true narrative. In terms of the gore factor, though, Brain Freeze delivers a smattering of blood and guts but still leaves much to be desired. which may in turn leave hardcore zombie fans wanting.

Brain Freeze makes its world premiere at the 2021 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 33 min.

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