Sunday, September 4, 2011

40 Days of Night(mares) Day 13: Favorite Zombie Movie

Since I blew my actual favorite zombie film under the comedy section (Shaun of the Dead for those of you keeping count), I had to wrack my brains and come up with a choice 2. I immediately jumped to the gold standard, the original Night of the Living Dead, but that's coming up for a later choice. So, where do you start.
Confession time...

I LOVE zombie movies!!!!

Be they comedic, good, bad, campy or honest. Social commentary? Bring it. Zombie strippers? Bring it. Slow, lurching zombies? I'm in. Running, almost intelligent zombies? Hells yes! I haven't met a zombie movie that's not enjoyable on some level. So, I'm stuck.
I thought about it for a long time, and decided to go with the one I watch the most. Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead is my go to movie when I'm in the mood for a zombie film I can just chill out and watch. Although a technical remake of the 1978 Romero classic, it both alters the story and makes some improvements in character development and story. It does away with the anti-consumerism message for a story about survival, and how, in a real crisis situation, what you were before the apocalypse doesn't mean a whole lot when your neighbor's kid is chomping on your neck. And, in my opinion, the running zombies are one hell of a lot scarier than the shuffling monsters of yore.
I admit that when this was announced, I was mostly ambivalent. Why mess with a masterpiece? Then, the studio did something out of the usual and aired the first ten minutes on national TV. I watched, and after I picked my jaw up off the floor, I added it to my must see list. And I wasn't disappointed. I thought the frenetic pace was great. It has a killer soundtrack and makes great use of a lot of practical effects, which always looks better than CGI. I know there are a lot of purists who say zombies shouldn't run, but why not have undead creatures you can't outrun on a mobility scooter with a half-dead battery? There are some great performances in it too, which you might not otherwise expect in a horror film. Most specifically, Sarah Polley does a great job as being the narrative heart of the story. This is a near perfect film for me. I give it a 9.5 out of 10 and recommend it wholly.

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