Dawn of the Dead

When the undead rise, civilization will fall.

Action Horror
101 min     7     2004     Canada

Overview

A group of survivors take refuge in a shopping mall after the world is taken over by aggressive, flesh-eating zombies.

Reviews

John Chard wrote:
Come on, man. You must've heard the priest say something about life and death. George Romero fans feared the worst, another one of his sacred original zombie trilogy films was being remade, this even though the remake of Night of the Living Dead didn't disgrace itself. As it happened, the fears were unfounded, for Zack Snyder and his team crafted one of the best horror remakes going. The premise follows Romero's wonderful version, a mysterious epidemic is causing the populace to turn into undead zombies, the bite of which transfers the illness to another. A small group of survivors make it to the Crossroads Mall and hole up there whilst trying to keep at bay the zombie hordes, but inner fighting threatens the group whilst they know they can't stay there for ever. Right from the off the film grabs you around the throat, it's a blistering and terrifying opening which brings heartbreak and terror in equal measure. It also announces to us that these zombies are different to Romero's, these suckers can run, and run fast. After some chaos and blood, the introductions to our survivors is set up and the pic settles into a superb group dynamic situation, where machismo and brains meet dumb and dumber, all while little devilish moments trickle away in the background. It's the focus on the survivors that really lifts it to greater heights, how they variously react to their plight, there's good thought gone into the screenplay (James Gunn). The natural progression of this type of film calls for horror moments, and Snyder deftly slots them in when the pic needs them, which again brings about scenes of terror and genuine heartbreaking moments. Some neat cameos will be cheered by fans of Romero's work, while the cast are superb here, with Sarah Polley the standout fulfilling the believable promise of the character as written. A remake that is its own beast yet still pays homage to what inspired it, and good at both! Now that's a rare thing in horror! 8/10
Kamurai wrote:
Great watch, will watch again, and can definitely recommend. Granted, if you're not a zombie fan, you're probably not even considering this one. Then you have the great argument about infection vectors (this is pretty classic, bite infection transfer), and slow vs fast (this movie is fast) zombies. I'm basically just pointing out why we can't have nice things, people argue about it. This has a great cast: Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley and Jake Weber in particular. The production value was definitely present, and not just in renting a mall to trash, or even just the zombie practical effects. The large scale scenes look amazing, and the details on the various infections are fascinating to watch. And sure, there is lots of quality gunfire (foley is good) and shooting zombies for people you are just in it for the action. While it's actually got some good (if dark at times) humor to it, it's not "Warm Bodies". Of course the presence of zombies / apocalyptic situation / lack of central authority gives us great philosophical opportunity to discuss what life means and see how people behave, but this leans more towards survival strategy aspects. If anything, I think that is where the "flaw" is in this movie: (most of) the characters are relatively competent so it detours some from typical movie formula relying on the characters to make mistakes to progress the story, but more of there is just a hopeless unending storm of bad things happening to them, it's honestly a little refreshing. This is probably one of my favorite zombie movies, and I don't even like running zombies.

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