16 September 2013 | ABladeInTheDark
Uniquely affecting zombie film.
Harold's Going Stiff is a zombie docudrama about men suffering from ORD or Onset Rigors Disease which starts out with extreme stiffness, and eventually leads to its sufferers becoming zombies. The main subject is Harold Gimble who was the first man diagnosed with ORD, and is slightly different from other victims, as his symptoms are progressing at a much slower pace than everyone else. Can a cure be found before he too becomes one of the zombies?
I went into this movie thinking it would be far different from what it was, and that's a good thing, because I'm not sure I'd have decided to see it had I known what it was like. I prefer my zombie movies to have plenty of zombies and gore, and Harold's Going Stiff doesn't meet those criteria. It's more of a character study that centers around Harold and his nurse Penny dealing with the everyday hardships of his unfortunate affliction. Before meeting Penny, Harold is lonely and reclusive, but with Penny's help he finds himself beginning to enjoy life again. This friendship is also beneficial for Penny who is suffering from loneliness herself.
The two leads, Stan Rowe and Sarah Spencer, have great chemistry, and despite having almost no acting experience whatsoever, are very adept at creating complex characters that really make you feel for what they are going through. Some of their interactions are happy and heartwarming while others are downright heartbreaking. I'm not ashamed to say that before the movie ended, Penny and Harold's plight caused tears to well up in my eyes. 9/10, highly recommended for those that are looking for a not so average zombie flick, or a good tearjerker. Just don't expect much horror since the only thing in it related to horror is the presence of zombies.