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Dawn of the Dead (2004)

R  |   |  Action, Horror, Sci-Fi  |  19 March 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 184,760 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 1,055 user | 285 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 overview, first billed only:
Michael Barry ...
R.D. Reid ...
Kim Poirier ...


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


36 billion people have died since the reign of humanity. For the new Dawn, there's a reunion... See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| | |


Release Date:

19 March 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead  »

Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$26,722,575 (USA) (19 March 2004)


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated director's cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Zack Snyder personally chose most of the music used in the film. His choices included "The Man Comes Around" by Johnny Cash, and Richard Cheese's cover of Disturbed's "Down With the Sickness". Snyder was the only person who thought these songs should be in the film, as most of the producers were against it. See more »


When the second group of survivors first arrives at the mall they all receive a bottle of water. When Steve, Michael, and Norma are talking, the cap on Steve's water bottle keeps coming on and off. See more »


Ana: Why are they coming here?
Kenneth: Memory, maybe. Instinct. Maybe they're coming for us.
See more »

Crazy Credits

On the end of the credits for "The Special Newsbulletin" on the dvd you can read the following line: "...Any similarity to actual person, living, dead or undead, is purely coincidental." See more »


Referenced in Eureka: A Night in Global Dynamics (2007) See more »


Don't Worry, Be Happy
Written by Bobby McFerrin
Performed by Tree Adams
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

As good as the original, with exciting new directions and room for a sequel!
18 February 2005 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

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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