They know something we don't.
For horror Youtubers Lilith and Nate, zombie movies are escapist fantasies. So when a real zombie uprising in the streets of New Southport is quickly thwarted, they know those familiar-looking ghouls are hiding something. They should know. Born with a weak heart in the funeral town of Leatelranch, built around the largest cemetery in the world, Lilith’s parents raised her with zombie stories to keep her from learning the truth about what happens inside the cemetery walls. As for Nathan, the caretaker’s son... he has his reasons to be so cowardly. So when they get outsmarted by seemingly droning ghouls and are forced to split up, the uncanny coincidences are undeniable. And as things start to look more and more like Lilith’s apocalyptic visions, and as a darker threat lurks, it’ll be up to them to piece the puzzle before everyone they love faces a fate worse than becoming a zombie.
Can they be stopped? Are they just playing dead? Do they have a plan?
They know something we don’t. And whatever it is, they hate us for it.
From zombies to ghosts to ancient orders to psychic visions and prophecies, this genre-bending mystery keeps its audience and characters guessing, keeping the suspense alive throughout, though at times the storytelling falters. The narrative begins strong and clear, gets muddled and repetitive in the middle, and regains its strength by the end. There are so many twists that the story becomes disorienting––and important plot points are easy to miss, as key moments pass too quickly and the passage of time in the story is not always clear.
Gombinsky’s use of dramatic irony creates a lot of tension: Lilith and Nate’s separation adds to the suspense because they each learn different clues to solve the mystery of the zombies, but they aren’t able to communicate. In a meta-fictional twist, the characters note “It’s trope after trope out there” of their zombie encounters; once Lilith and Nate start to do “the unexpected,” outsmarting the zombies, the story flowers into a potent exploration of rebellion and genre. A final twist that turns all those zombie apocalypse tropes on their heads makes up for the slow-moving middle. Fans of meta-horror and gory body horror will be satisfied: between green blood, severed body parts, and creepy old cemeteries, this thriller never forgets its bloody roots, even as it upends them.
Takeaway: This bloody, clever zombie thriller takes off when its heroes start challenging the rules of the genre.
Great for fans of: David Wellington’s Monster Island, Mira Grant’s Feed.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: A-