Russian-Kazakh director and producer Timur Bekmambetov is bringing his innovative approach to digital thrills to Snapchat with a new zombie series.
Dead of Night, produced for Snapchat’s new video content series Snap Originals, tells the story of a teenage girl who, armed with just her phone, must escape from a quarantined city full of zombies. It takes place entirely from the point of view of the smartphone screen. The series is based on a story from the popular app Hooked, which relays narratives as a series of daily updates in the format of instant messages.
Snap Originals consist of five- to seven-minute episodes — which cannot be rewatched after viewing — shot in vertical format to fit onto smartphone screens.
While he remains most famous in Russia for his 2004 hit Night Watch, since 2015 Bekmambetov has been at the forefront of the so-called “computer screen” or “screen life” genre — films where the action takes place entirely on a screen of a computer or smartphone. In that time, he has produced computer screen films including the American horrors Unfriended (2015) and Unfriended: Dark Web (2018), the thriller Searching (2018), and the Russian comedy Hack the Bloggers (2016). He also directed his own screenbound drama, Profile (2018), about a woman courting an ISIS soldier via her laptop.
Dead of Night is slated for release in October 2019.