House of the Dead 2 (2005) 1 brain1 brainhalf brain

Alternate Titles:

A Casa dos Mortos 2

Most zombie fans agree that the first House of the Dead, directed by Uwe Boll, was an awful film. So it was a pleasant surprise when the sequel turned out not only better (which wasn't hard), but watchable. This next chapter was brought to us by director Michael Hurst, and although I see that Mark Altman was still credited as a writer, it was only for the story and characters, not the actual screenplay. In fact, this movie seems to have very little connection to the original at all, plot-wise, except that Alicia from the first film (Danielle Burgio) shows up in this film as the zombie that starts a new epidemic of hyper sapiens (that's "zombies" to you non-House of the Dead fans out there).

This outbreak occurs on a college campus, and a crack team of soldiers and scientists is sent in to try to find patient zero and get a blood sample from which to create a vaccine. Leading the expedition are scientists Alexandra "Nightingale" Morgan (Emmanuelle Vaugier) and Ellis (no last name, apparently, played by Ed Quinn. The military part of the force is led by Dalton (not sure of the rank, but played by Sticky Fingaz). It's a pretty large force, with a wide variety of characters, so we get to see lots of interesting deaths-by-zombie as they make their way through campus searching for a blood sample they can use. The makeup is well-done, the action is well-paced, and the acting and writing are good enough not to be a distraction.

If you're going to make a movie from a video game, this is what it should be like: a brainless action film with enough characterization to make you care a little bit about who lives and who dies. I can't really give you more of the plot without giving stuff away, but then I don't really need to; you know what you need to know. If you've been avoiding this movie because Uwe Boll has soured you on House of the Dead, have no fear, you can watch this movie and finish it with your brain intact.