In the aftermath of a zombie outbreak during the American Civil War, a lonely young soldier has to accept the loss of his wife and son. With zombies roaming the land, and trust in people wearing thin, he finds a new reason to stay alive when he decides to bring his son's ashes to a waterfall he used to tell him about. But rebels come in the way, soldiers-gone-bad trying to find a cure to the infection.
Despite being a zombie period piece, taking place in the aftermath of the Civil War, it's really just a backdrop for a man's journey after losing everything that ever mattered to him: his wife and son. There was an outbreak during the war, and Edward Young managed to survive. But he is now living his own nightmare - outliving his son. And not only that, he was the one who fired the killing shot when his son had turned. He's ready to go, aiming the gun at himself, but he has ran out of ammo. He freaks out, but eventually finds a reason to live, thanks to a drawing he has kept. The drawing of a waterfall he used to tell his son about. His journey begins here, when he decides to bury the ashes of his son by the waterfall. On the way there he meets Isaac, a guy who turns out to be a good companion. But not everyone can show humanity in this crisis, which they learn when they're attacked by the rebels, lead by General Williams (played by Bill Moseley). The rebels decide to use the two in their experiments in trying to find a cure to the zombie infection. Also captured is a young woman who turns out to be immune.
Overall, you'll quickly notice that "Exit Humanity" moves by the same beats as many zombie movies before it. It focuses on the people, the bad and good of personalities, in time of a zombie infection. In means that you'll be familiar to a lot of the things here. I'm sure you won't even be surprised to find out that the zombies are just a small part of the actual movie. It's much more about Edward Young reaching his destination, the immunity of the woman he meets and the bad guys who are trying to find a cure. Fine by me, I have watched enough zombie movies to want more out of a story than zombies eating flesh. But perhaps this is not enough of a change for me?
You can't deny that it's a rather solid period piece. Granted, most of the time they're in the woods so you won't need a lot of set pieces, but it's still a challenge to make it believable in other ways. "Exit Humanity" nicely mixes the zombie genre with the Civil War era. I have never been keen on period pieces alone, but this one did feel like a mix of "Dead Birds" and "Ginger Snaps 3", both which I think are pretty decent (okay, I like "Ginger Snaps 3" more than that). Watching a period piece that works quickly draws you in, is what I'm getting at.
That "Exit Humanity" is a nice emotional story, set in a well executed Civil War era, doesn't change the fact that it's a bit too long at a nearly 2 hour runtime. Edward Young's story doesn't develop enough, nor does it dig deep enough, for the runtime to be truly justified. The story of the zombies and the rebels is always secondary, so those don't develop much either. Which would have been fine if there was more to soak in about Edward Young. It does get more interesting when he meets the immune girl, and the "witch" (played by Dee Wallace), as they somehow have an effect on his personal story, but again it doesn't quite go far enough. Had this been a much shorter movie then maybe that would have been fine, but being almost 2 hours long a certain degree of development is required. I can think of several things to cut down, such as the animation scenes. As nice as they were, they weren't needed.
Okay, so it is still a zombie movie, we can't forget that. Except for the blackened eyes, I think the zombies looked great. Very white, and maybe too white, but it worked well. At times I thought it managed to capture an atmosphere I thought was long gone. Sadly it was just brief moments. It's still a better zombie movie than a lot of the recent ones and one I think fans would enjoy a lot. Not to mention other people as well, seeing how it's as story-oriented as it is. "Exit Humanity" is a good movie, it really is. It's a pretty good storyline that evokes emotion, and works well as a period piece. Finally, the zombies are doing their bit to make surviving harder. It's what you would expect out of it. I can imagine a lot of people enjoying it more than I did, mostly because I am rather picky with zombie movies, period pieces and runtimes. As odd as that might sound.