Six months after the rage virus was inflicted on the population of Great Britain, the US Army helps to secure a small area of London for the survivors to repopulate and start again. But not everything goes to plan.
Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.
A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.
Ana goes home to her peaceful suburban residence, but she is unpleasantly surprised the morning that follows when her husband is brutally attacked by her zombified neighbor. In the chaos of her once picturesque neighborhood, Ana flees and stumbles upon a police officer named Kenneth, along with more survivors who decide that their best chances of survival would be found in the deserted Crossroads Shopping Mall. When supplies begin running low and other trapped survivors need help, the group comes to the realization that they cannot stay put forever at the Shopping Mall, and devise a plan to escape. Written by
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 »
In the scene during the birth of Andre and Luda's baby the shot switches between close-ups of Andre and Luda's faces. During one of the close-ups of Andre there is a cameraman and his camera clearly visible over Andre's right shoulder. See more »
[Everyone is sitting down to dinner]
Before that I worked in a stationary store. And I drove a snowplow. Fixed copiers.
God, it's such a shame that this whole "end of the world" thing's holding you back.
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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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