Paradise Lost

Backwards, forwards; rewind, play. No matter which direction you view this story, your heart will be aching from the axe wounds it will leave in your heart. An impressive feat from a mere video game trailer. While Dead Island the game isn’t explicitly about storytelling, the game trailers always find a way to tell a tale that brings back the human element to the zombie genre. In this episode, we find ourselves in the middle of a vacation gone sour; a mother, father, and daughter wanting to get away from everyday life find themselves trying to get away from the zombies that are dying to ruin their family vacation.

Trait Description Critique
Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the student exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? This production was quite creative in its presentation of the information. It is rare that a story starts at the end and ends at the middle, but this story does executes this twisting of plot seamlessly. It also serves to increase the effectiveness of the story as we are no longer concerned about if the little girl and her family survived, but rather why they didn’t survive. This forces the audience to feel empathetic to the situation instead of fearful of it – a change of pace for a zombie tale. The story is also original in that we rarely see the apocalypse happen to someone while on vacation. 10/10
Project planning Is there evidence of solid planning, in the form of story maps, scripts, storyboards, etc.? This story was created to be viewed backwards and forwards at the same time. The flashbacks and flash forwards work together well to explain the chaos, loss, and anxiety of the situation this family finds themselves in. Solid planning has to have occurred in order to match the details of each scene to show their connectedness yet not be repetitive in the information being shared. The melancholy background music matches and enhances the tone of the story very well. The brief cutaways from music also help to enhance the sounds of terror elicited by the little girl as she attempts and fails to escape the nightmarish creatures.  10/10
Content understanding How well did the student meet the academic goals of the assignment and convey an understanding of the material addressed? In terms of meeting the academic goals of a zombie story, this production hits on the major highlights of survival, death, anxiety, sadness, and a plethora of other emotions associated with the end of the world. However, this story does not add many new elements to the typical plots of most zombie productions. This story finds a creative way to spin the same old zombie tale of fighting to live and failing, but it is nonetheless still the same old zombie story.  5/10

 

Backwards, forwards, and everything in between this story finds a unique place in the hall of zombie stories. Never have I seen a story told out of order yet make so much sense emotionally for its mixed up plot. I dare you to not feel hope as you see the story reverse upon itself and end in a place where there is a possibility for something to go differently. I dare you to not feel sadness as you reach the end and realize that what we’ve already seen is about to happen again.

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