I only saw one or two advertisements for The Dead Don’t Die before it was rolled out into theaters in June 2019. I was excited to see what this oddball horror comedy would bring to the tired and overcrowded zombie genre.

What this film is is a dedication the godfather of zombie movies and zombie culture, George A. Romero. What this film is not is a film. From concept to execution, from the meta-humor to the lack there of, The Dead Don’t Die is dead on arrival. I don’t get it. But I don’t even know if there’s anything to get.

The Dead starts out slow but still interesting. And I liked that we (the audience) don’t know much more than the characters. But from the halfway point forward all I could think was, “Am I missing something here?” I promise I get the dry humor. Even anti-humor. And I appreciate both. But I can’t tell if the actors weren’t trying or were trying not to try. Or were trying hoping you thought they weren’t trying.

It’s not enough of anything. It’s not quirky enough to be a quirky comedy. It’s not meta enough to be a meta-commentary. It’s not even dedicated enough to be a love letter to classic horror. I knew this was supposed to be a horror comedy but I don’t remember laughing once.

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t amused or entertained at any point. But more so let down and confused. Which is meta I guess because the characters feel the same way. They’re on the ride just as we are and when it ends…

Get it? That’s the joke. That it just ends… at the end. Wasn’t that meta. And profound. And anti-humor meant to make you chuckle. But you’re still confused. And don’t really know if what you’re reading was meant to be read this way. Or be entertaining. Or amusing. Or read at all. Or if it means anything.

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t. Does it? Anyway, The Dead Don’t Die sports a 52% Tomatometer and 50% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 5.9/10 on IMDB. Long story short I give it a 5.5/10.

Even if it’s a troll movie it’s a pretty good troll. Not a good movie, but a good troll. Congratulations, you got me.