Film Review: 'Zeta' an interesting but mixed bag

August 3, 2020

 

The Indonesian zombie film Zeta treads much of the same ground as such recent movies as the Spanish Rec and the Korean Train to Busan. It tries to put its own stamp on the genre with entertaining but mixed results.

 

The plot focuses on troubled teenager Deon (Jeff Smith), whose father (Willem Bevers) is an overworked researcher and whose mother(Cut Mini) is suffering from Alzheimer's. The mother has returned home after an extramarital affair.

Waterborne neuroparasites infect human hosts and start a zombie outbreak in Jakarta. The government refers to the hosts as zetas and it emerges that their are two strains of the parasite, yielding two types of zombies. 

Deon and his mother are trapped in an apartment complex with the zombies and a pair of sketchy but well-prepared neighbors. The father is working with the military to find a solution that is conveniently contingent upon rescuing his family. Events reveal that the parasites avoid people with brain damage because these make unsuitable hosts.

 

Writer/director Amanda Iswan shows visual flair and tries admirably to mix a grab old zombie film tropes with fresh ideas. The results are interesting but sometimes confusing. One of the more interesting ideas is that there are urban militants who have prepared in advance for such a catastrophe.

Zeta is not as innovative as its obvious influences or other genre entries like 28 Days Later but zombie fans should still enjoy it.

 

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