When one thinks about a true niche sub-genre in horror, the rarest gems fall into horror musicals, namely the most common The Rocky Picture Show . However, others existed, such as Little Shop of Horrors (the original and remake). Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street , The Nightmare before Christmas  just to name a few for some depth and understanding of the power of the larger budget does not elude the productions. While Travis Betz’s The Dead Inside, falls into the much lower scale it holds a steady position, with similar films VP Boyle’s Lifeless  and Brett Kelly’s My Fair Zombie , it strives to reach a larger audience thanks to a release on Monarch Home Entertainment. This is not Travis’ first venture into either horror movies or the musical genres rather his first and fairly well received horror film was Joshua  would later return with Lo (2009) proving there is life in the category of horror and musicals, which is evident to the success of a stage performance of Evil Dead the Musical. Nevertheless, the film lacks terror, and slides nicely into a comedy with interesting highlights centering more in drama and the elements horror residing in madness and a loving couple of zombies.
The story opens with the zombies, Harper and Max desperately seeking entrance into a room, with an ordinary door, in a dull home, that holds a witch, who might have the cure to their cursed existence as zombies. Soon enough the dilemma breaks into verse, and they begin to sing, and then search the home for answers, skimming through novels, though their rotting brains have no solutions to their feeding crisis and yet they’re calm and able to have moments of romance, along with deepening retrospective examination of their existence and lives in general. Suddenly the camera shows a woman, Fi (Sarah Lassez (The Wicked Within )) sitting in front of a computer, and the audience learns that she’s suffering from writer’s block, a true starvation of the mind and the progression of her book series The Dead Survive. Sadly, she’s spiraling into madness, singing the strangest string of words possible to blaming everything from colors of walls to furniture for the problems. She works on construction odd homemade interior forts from various items, as a means escape from the world and crawl into her mind yet discovering a borderline self-induced schizophrenic delusion filled with demonic possession. However, her anchor and boyfriend in this world Wes (Dustin Fasching) has his own issues, and not working to keep Fi checked in to reality, rather as his life of a photographer reduced to tiresome wedding pictures just to pay the bills. Both Lassez and Fasching, complete their roles with believability and Sarah gives a credible reliable viewpoint of the issues of writer’s block, struggling of the putting words on a screen, to pounding a keyboard in anger and how it mirrors zombies, mumbling, staggering in circles, incapable of higher order thinking.
Travis also served as screenwriter and tends to transition to the singing with the storyline of parody and humor starts to sputter to an exhausting stoppage of the story and begins to switch to various genres for a new path of the film. At times, one feels trapped with a location shoot, and sadly that comes from the budgetary constraints, the audience quickly understands the layout of the home. It does not work for very long, nor conveys a claustrophobic fear translating to the confines of the mind, especially when she stays at a mental hospital none is shown only spoken about for the sake of viewers. This storyline works well for the first act, bogs down for a weird second act and then staggers for a finishing line, with a clipping of scenes similar ‘pick-up shots’ with a sense that a conclusion must find itself soon. A good point of reference, for the movie the special effects, which come highly admired, and limited screen time to work effectively when applied to the screen, especially regarding the zombies’ severed of fingers.
Most of the time in the horror musical genre, many individuals are often dragged into one as it only pertains to a small audience In fact, some movies work on the subject but avoid keeping the entire movie in music verse, even with demons, possessions, and zombies, overall Betz’ story of the filmmakers makes subtle points to watch out for the mental breakdowns and the dreaded plague of writer’s block.
- Dig Up Your Heart
IMDb Rating: 5.4/10
Baron’s Rating: 5.0/10