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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

 -  Action | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  19 March 2004 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 166,420 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 1,049 user | 275 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ana
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CJ
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Michael Barry ...
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R.D. Reid ...
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Storyline

Ana, a young beautiful nurse finishes her day-shift at the hospital to return home to her beloved husband, they make love and sleep together. The next day, after her husband is killed by her neighbor next door, he suddenly comes back to life. She discovers the chaos happening in her neighborhood and escapes from her home. Soon after coming to her senses in the woods, she encounters a cop and other survivors, they decide to find safety in a mall. Soon more survivors come, and they learn that if they want to stay alive, they should stick together as the world is overrun by an army of undead. Can they survive the horror in this horrific global chaos? When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth Written by Emphinix

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong horror violence and gore, language and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$108,275 (South Africa) (23 July 2004)

Gross:

$108,275 (South Africa) (23 July 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mall scenes of the film as well as the rooftop scenes were shot in the Thornhill Square Shopping Centre in Thornhill, Ontario and the rest of the scenes were shot in the Aileen-Willowbrook Neighborhood of Thornhill, and the Township of Caledon East, Ontario. The set for Ana and Louis's bedroom was constructed in a back room of the mall. The mall was defunct, which is the reason the production used it; the movie crew completely renovated the structure, and stocked it with fictitious stores after Starbucks Coffee and numerous other corporations refused to let their names be used (two exceptions to this are Roots and Panasonic). Most of the mall was demolished shortly after the film was shot. The highway in the overhead composite shot of Ana driving past the exploding gas station is HWY 50, one kilometer south of Bolton, Ontario. The Crossroads Mall is a small strip-mall at the intersection of HWY 9 and HWY 27 just north of Caledon East. The second converted mall shuttle (with the fire damage) was shipped out of Bolton in the summer of 2006. See more »

Goofs

As they get on the buses to escape the mall, Michael angrily takes the keys to the boat from Steve. But later on Ana risk everything to go and get the boat keys back from Steve's pocket, which should have been in Michaels possession. See more »

Quotes

Michael: I know which job I was the worst at. Being a husband.
Monica: That's not a job.
Tucker: It sure is.
Monica: You guys just haven't met the right girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the closing credits we see a series of shots filmed by the survivors using a camcorder they find on Steve's boat. There are a couple of scenes of Steve and his girlfriend (still left on the camera), then the survivors finding a small boat with a still-animated zombie head in an icebox, and finally them running out of gas and landing on an island where they are attacked by zombies. There are then a series of brief almost-subliminal flashes of zombies "attacking" the camera. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

All By Myself
Written by Eric Carmen & Sergei Rachmaninoff (as Sergei Rachmaninoff)
Performed by Tree Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A great pace covers the weaknesses in plotting
10 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Returning from a busy day in the hospital, Ana spends time with her husband when a neighbours daughter comes into the house and attacks her husband. He dies before returning to life and attacking Ana. She runs and escapes in her car, driving through a neighbourhood rife with violence and fires. After crashing her car, she hooks up with a group of armed survivors who take refuge in a mall. The group settle in and fortify their position as an army of the undead gather outside.

Before I start my review, let me just say that this will be biased as I am always easily won over by zombie movies. The fact that they just keep coming (fast or slow), lack character and only want to kill really just freaks me out. So I tend to get easily scared by the genre (even if `enjoy' is perhaps not the right word) and be easily more negligent towards their faults. Despite telling myself that I wouldn't bother with this film as it would scare me, I went for it anyway in a fit of `confront your fears' type of stupidity! The film starts with a creepy opening and pretty much manages to keep the pace up for the whole film. It, like the zombies, moves fast and brutally throughout and is very, very tense.

Others have complained about the lack of gore - however I found the graphic exploding heads to do that more than enough for my tastes! Better than gore is the atmosphere. The use of news footage is not original but it succeeds (along with the aerial view of the town) in creating the impression of a world turning to sh*t. I don't know about you but this scares me and the film did it well. The speed of the zombie attacks makes for a thrilling ride and it did make me very tense - Snyder managed to make the whole film a threat (especially for a first time director) and I honestly have a very stiff neck a day after seeing this simply because my body was tensed up for the whole film!

The pace of the film also serves to cover the real problems in content and plot. Unlike the original there is no satirical swipe on consumerism - the fact that the zombies are just wandering aimlessly around the mall like they used to in life is pretty much ignored here - but times are very different now I guess. The plot itself also has quite a few stupid moments where the characters act in a way you know they wouldn't in real life. For example people go on suicide missions for little real reasons and you can tell that the script is just doing it to create more action. However, when you are into it, these things don't really seem to matter. The film may be a little silly when you think about it but it does have a good ending - downbeat and realistic (or at least as realistic as it can be!) and left me with no hope of a happy ending - in this regard it is everything that `28 Days Later..' is not.

The cast is good even if the script places their characters secondary to the action. Polley is used to slightly more substantial roles but still does well here. Rhames is lumbered with a religious background that is never explained, but he is a great presence throughout. Weber is the standout role however. His character is a slightly less cartoon version of Evil Dead's Ash. He is the unwilling hero but yet he seems to accept all the obstacles he comes across. He also manages to be one of the group that the audience cares about - most of them are fodder and we know it! Phifer is a good actor but seemed too `gangster' to really be driven to this degree by his family. The rest of the support cast are mostly just there to get eaten but they do OK.

Overall this is not a great film - but it is an effective one. As a film it lacks subtext, comment and plot logic. However as a thriller it is fast paced, gripping and tense with a satisfyingly bleak conclusion. Snyder does a good job as a first timer and creates an atmosphere that is gripping even if it lacks originality. Like I said, I don't deal with zombie movies very well and am easily scared but I reckon that this should satisfy many a Saturday night thrill-seeking crowd even if it does nothing for your brain apart from it's risk getting eaten.


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