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MOVIE INDEX

Detained (2004)




Detained
WHERE TO FIND
www.detainedthemovie.com
Reviewed By Dead Kev

I always wondered whatever became of good 'ole McDermott. At the end of Day of the Dead, we know he'd escaped the zombies and made his way, via whirlybird, to the sandy beaches of some remote locale. But after that? Well, it looks like he took that experience and turned it into a job as a school detention supervisor. After suffering through such a trauma, I can imagine it would be very therapeutic to hold full disciplinary reign over a room full of misbehaving students.

In case you didn't catch the sarcasm, Detained is not a tongue-in-cheek follow-up to Day of the Dead, but rather a serious short horror film written, directed, and produced by Ireland's Jason Tammemägi. While the film's main draw is meant to be its non-living stars, Tammemägi was able to lure Jarlath Conroy from his New York stage work long enough to star in the short. Conroy will forever be known in zombie circles as the likeable radio-man from George Romero's third foray with the undead.

In Detained, Conroy delivers most of the lines as McAlester, the detention room supervisor presiding over Thomas Doyle's (Ciarán O'Brien) first ever detention. In an act of impeccable timing, the one day he ends up in detention is the very day that the living dead decide to rise up and attack. As a short film, naturally there's not really enough time to tell the why's or how's of the attack. Rather, the focus is on Doyle's escape from his now infested school.

A simple concept, and not the most original, but the merits of Detained lie not in the plot, but the execution. And with 15 minutes, how much plot can you really have anyways? The intent of the film is intended to be enjoyed at surface level, but having been influenced by the likes of Romero, there may indeed be a bit of social commentary in there as well.

Admittedly borrowing inspiration from the Silent Hill video game series as well, Tammemägi uses the school's darkened corridors as Doyle's other obstacles, as he creeps along with only a flashlight to guide him to freedom. Deftly using shadows and the unlit halls' built-in atmosphere, the zombies are shown mostly in just glimpses and often framed by only the beam of the flashlight. It's rather brilliant for an extra low budget affair. In some shots, the darkness allows you to hide much of the zombie from view, which means you don't have to have the greatest make-up jobs in the world. Though, if they slacked off, you don't notice it. Zombie-man Simon Crane made up some nasty looking ones.

Detained is one of the most impressive looking short films I've ever seen. The young actors are surprisingly quite good. The cinematography is excellent and I really dug the cool visual effects. Editing, direction...very solid. And as good as its looks are, Duncan Maitland's score and the film's sound effects are equally impressive. It really plays perfectly and ratchets up the creepy factor. Blend it all together, and you get 15 minutes of spooky undead fun. And it's great to see Jarlath Conroy in action again!


DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
This is very solid filmmaking and a very atmospheric short tale. You should definitely check it out if you get the chance.
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
1. Don't be afraid to leave your wounded friends behind. They'd do the same to you.
2. Flashlights make a good weapon if you're in a pinch.
INTERESTING TIDBITS
Detained was 'Highly Commended' by the 15th International Festival of Fantastic Films (2004) in Manchester, England.
The school used for shooting was Sutton Park School in Dublin, Ireland.
MEDIA
Trailers
Alternate Poster


DIRECTOR
Jason Tammemägi
WRITER
Jason Tammemägi
PRODUCER
Jason Tammemägi
CAST CHARACTER
Cieran O'Brien Doyle
Jarlath Conroy McAlester
Matthew Darragh Adult Doyle
Ben Morris Mark
Brendan Morrisey Caretaker
Robbie Sexton First Zombie
PRODUCTION COMPANY
Zombies Don't Run Productions
STUDIO
Zombies Don't Run Productions
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
Ireland
RUNNING TIME MPAA RATING
15 mins N/A


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