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 shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the last Twinkie, and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America.
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
As good as the original, with exciting new directions and room for a sequel!
Shortly after a number of strange cases begin to appear at the hospital where Ana (Sarah Polley) works, a bizarre zombie "epidemic" hits the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area full force. Sarah escapes her immediate threats and meets a number of other humans who decide to seek shelter inside a large shopping mall. As they learn that the zombie outbreak is much more widespread than anyone could have imagined, their chances of survival grow increasingly dim.
I know an awful lot of genre fans rail against remakes, but like the update of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), this version of Dawn of the Dead is so good that we should instead be clamoring for more.
Writer James Gunn and director Zack Snyder knew that they had to come into the remake with both barrels blasting. Hardly five minutes into the film we're already into hardcore, high tension, gore-filled horror material. In lesser films, our introduction to full-fledged zombie activity would have been dream material as a kind of teaser. Gunn and Snyder dispense with such weak-willed tactics and immediately launch into Armageddon. We quickly move to a wide shot of explosions, brutal car crashes and other mayhem.
We do finally get a breather while we're learning our cast of characters at the mall in nicely written scenes that bring out personality and depth to the relatively large cast, but horror fanatics need not fret that the film will evolve into a drama--tension and gore are never far removed from the film.
Gunn and Snyder earn credit for both paying homage to their source material and taking off into other interesting directions. This remake is just as intense and titillating as Romeo's original, but with a different spin.
The cast is excellent, the cinematography and editing exciting and innovative, and the makeup and "creature" effects are top notch.
Even though I've seen greater quantities, the DVD for Dawn of the Dead also has some of the best extras I've seen on a disc in terms of quality. You get two excellent short films that effectively extend the feature. In one, a new character from the remake, Andy (Bruce Bohne), who runs a gun shop across the street from the mall, gives us a 15-minute video diary of his last 15 days. It's similar in some ways to the feel of The Blair Witch Project (1999), but for my money, it's much better than that film. In the other, we get a 30-minute condensation of the news broadcasts following the outbreak of the zombie "epidemic". This also easily beats any mock horror documentary (such as The Last Broadcast (1998)) with its hands tied behind its back. Make sure you at least rent the DVD to check out these extras.
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