Saturday, September 11, 2010

They Came Back: Resurrection can be Inconvenient for the Living

When a horde of Romero-esque zombies attack the living, groaning and biting and eating brains, society’s response is predictable- fight or flight.  But what if the dead return peacefully, undecayed, and ready to resume their former lives?  How does society react?

This is the question posed by They Came Back, a 2004 French film directed by Robin Campillo.  The film explores the relationships between a group of the living and their dead spouses and children.  Instead of joy or horror, the resurrected dead are met with unease, and the government treats them as unwanted refugees from the beyond, illegal immigrants who take up jobs and state resources. 

It’s a great premise, and there are some very nice touches in the film (particularly the cinematography and the soundtrack), but overall the film is oddly unemotional, abstract, and slow, and the questions it raises are never fully explored. 

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