VALLEY OF THE DEAD on Netflix is a new zombie movie from Spain (org. title Malnazidos). The story is set during the Spanish Civil War which offers some obvious conflict. It has great moments but is too long at 100 minutes. Read our full Valley of the Dead movie review here!
VALLEY OF THE DEAD is a new Netflix zombie movie from Spain (org. title Malnazidos). This film has been a long time coming since it was set for release in 2020. Due to the pandemic, this release was pushed several times. After its world premiere at the 2020 Sitges Film Festival, the movie had its theatrical release in Spain in March of 2022.
The story does revolve around a zombie plot. However, to be fair, there are many other issues. Especially since it plays out over a few days during the Spanish Civil War. There is a definite issue with the runtime since the film is too long at 1 hour and 41 minutes.
Do stick around for the end-credit scene though. Could this mean a Valley of the Dead sequel? That probably depends on the success of this movie.
Continue reading our Valley of the Dead movie review below. You can watch it on Netflix from July 11, 2022.
Zombies during the Spanish Civil War
The setting of Valley of the Dead in Spain during the Spanish Civil War offers up lots of intriguing issues and conflicts. Essentially, the two sides battling one another come across an even greater enemy when zombies arrive.
Or rather, they don’t so much “arrive” as show up whenever one of their own (or an enemy) is killed. Shortly after, they wake up in that very brutal and “hungry” way that only zombies do. For the record, I have to say that I found the zombie movie Overlord (2018) to be much stronger. It’s set in World War 2 but has a much tighter plot!
In many ways, Valley of the Dead also has a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the pace and (especially) the focus on war and history more than on zombies, don’t work too well for the overall movie-watching experience. I find it fascinating, but for the purpose of making a strong zombie movie, it isn’t good.
Is Valley of the Dead a war movie or a zombie movie?
While watching this movie on Netflix, I found myself questioning if Valley of the Dead is a war movie or a zombie movie. Well, it feels a lot like a war movie that just happens to have a zombie problem to deal with. The first zombies show up around the 20-minute mark and you will be waiting for long periods of time without much zombie action.
What this movie really does have going for it, is the cast. Many familiar faces for anyone who watches Spanish productions but also just some cool performances.
The cast includes Miki Esparbé as Jan (the main protagonist) and you might recognize him from The Innocent. In other key roles we see Auro Garrido (Twin Murders: The Silence of the White City), who is very awesome and cool, and Francisco Reyes (30 Coins).
Also, Luis Callejo (currently playing a serial killer in the new Netflix series The Longest Night) and Álvaro Cervantes (Offering to the Storm) are part of the cast. Every cast member offers performances with lots of attitude – in all the right ways where it doesn’t go too crazy.
Watch Valley of the Dead on Netflix now!
Valley of the Dead is directed by Alberto de Toro and Javier Ruiz Caldera. It’s the feature film debut of director Alberto de Toro while Javier Ruiz Caldera already has a few feature film productions on his resume. These include the spy action comedy Anacleto: Agente secreto (2015) and the action sci-fi comedy hybrid Superlópez (2018).
The movie is based on the novel “Noche de Difuntos del 38” by Manuel Martín. The screenplay adapted from this novel was written by Jaime Marques and Cristian Conti. Oh, there’s also a video game based on the same story.
No matter the issues that this new Spanish movie has, I still recommend checking it out if you enjoy both zombie movies and stories set during wartime. However, you do really need to have somewhat of an appreciation for both. Otherwise, I fear you’ll become bored with this movie as the focus of the story switches between the two.
Valley of the Dead (org. title Malnazidos) is out on Netflix from July 11, 2022.
Directors: Alberto de Toro, Javier Ruiz Caldera
Writers: Jaime Marques, Cristian Conti, Manuel Martín (based on the novel “Noche de Difuntos del 38”)
Stars: Miki Esparbé, Aura Garrido, Luis Callejo, Álvaro Cervantes, Jesús Carroza, Dafnis Balduz, Sergio Torrico, Manel Llunell, María Botto, Mouad Ghazouan, Francisco Reyes, Manuel Morón
During the Spanish Civil War, a small group of sworn enemies must work together when they encounter flesh-eating zombies created in a Nazi experiment.