Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dawn of the Dead (2004) - brilliant zombie horror

A lot of people complain about remakes nowadays, however similarly to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), this remake was incredible. I mean, most films begin with a rather boring ten minutes summarising the story line, however the first ten minutes of this film are insane. Five minutes into the film, there are already high-intensity scenes, full of shock, horror and pure gore.
It really is a magnificent entrance to a film and sparks a huge interest into the audience to continue watching. The film receives good scores online too:

  • IMDB - 7.4/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - 75%
  • Metacritic - 58%
I completely disagree with the Meta critic rating which I feel is a bit harsh on this brilliant horror. Although, I'd agree that IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes have it just about right.

This masterpiece was directed by Zack Snyder, and lasts a very good run time of 101 minutes. It begins with Ana (Sarah Polley), a young beautiful nurse who finishes her day-shift at the hospital to return home to her beloved husband. The next day, after her husband is killed by her neighbour next door, he suddenly comes back to life. She discovers the chaos happening in her neighbourhood 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.

The introduction undoubtedly is one of the best entrances to a horror film I've ever seen. It clearly and successfully introduces a dark, violent tone and signals that the rest of the film will be full of pure gore, which it is. The beginning is truly remarkable featuring insane car crashes and complete chaos in general. The film also introduces us more to the central characters once the film calms down as they hide in the mall. I felt that at the start of the film it was difficult to take in everything about the characters, and so this scene provides us a nice moment to understand who the characters are. The general make-up and effects of the infected is very realistic and I can remember a few scary moments in the film. Not only was I scared of jump scares or atmosphere, but I was also terrified of the zombies themselves. The acting is first class in the film, and the zombies scared the hell out of me!

It could be argued that the original Dawn of the Dead is better and perhaps this film doesn't live up to the remake. I personally like both films as equally, however if you're a huge fan of originals, then you might not like this film. Another possible key weakness to this film could be the genre. Although it is clearly known as a horror, there is a large amount of action which definitely outweighs the horror for me. As much as the zombies scared me, there was a lot more action scenes than horror which could put people off.

Overall, I was very satisfied with this remake and was very impressed. After seeing the majority of modern remakes, I wasn't expecting much however this was brilliant. The film begins with a fantastic ten minutes of violence and pure fear, and this is sustained very successfully throughout the entire film. As well as the introduction, I also really enjoyed the ending, which I will not discuss for spoiler purposes. 

Overall Rating: 8/10

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