I don’t know what I expected when I added Zombeavers to my list on Netflix. I think I was expecting a Sharknado type experience which seems fair since SyFy movies and psuedo-SyFy movies are big again. For some reason I was dreading something akin to Eli Roth’s lazy movie making, like a low-budget muppet Cabin Fever. Mixing funny and scary is a difficul proposition. Once again, I point to Evil Bong and Cabin Fever. The first failed because it had bad acting and was lazily written. Cabin Fever failed because it had too much gross out humor and used non sequitirs instead of actual humor. It’s a delicate balance and I’ve seen a lot of movies fail at being scary, being funny or both.
The movie follows three 24 year old girls who journey out to a cabin (cliche alert) because one of them was cheated on and they’re trying to help her get over it. The trip is quickly crashed by their three significant others and then it is crashed again by zombeavers. The six people try to survive and escape the woods. It’s the usual scenario but there are a few twists.
Zombeavers mostly succeeds where a lot of horror movies fail. There’s plenty of suspense as most of the movie is spent the way most zombie movies are spent. You get a lot of footage of the main characters trapped in one place and having to deal with each other. Thankfully the movie moves faster than most zombie movies because honestly, I don’t want to hear these people talk too much. There’s an offbeat humor throughout but within two minutes I decided that I would not mind if these characters died. As the action and gore overtook the suspense I found myself actually being afraid for the characters. I respect that a lot. Sure it was kind of cheesy but alot of the good horror films are cheesy.
Overall, the movie succceeded in being an over-the-top horror/monster movie. It felt like a 70’s horror film blended with a more modern feel. Like Evil Dead mixed with Ghost Shark, maybe. It avoided a lot of the obvious jokes that I was expecting. That’s not to say it didn’t hit certain jokes and cliches hard to get them out of the way. Honestly, the movie goes right along basically as I expected it to go and then just drives hard into left field. It goes from zombie muppets to full horror including quite a bit of body horror that tied my stomach into knots. At 77 minutes it’s also very short and fast-paced. It’s not a perfect horror movie but it’s worth a watch if you’re in the mood.