Dawn of the Dead (2004)

By Cal Wayne

Released: 2004

Dawn Of The Dead is a remake if the 1978 movie under the same title. Directed by Zack Snyder and using George A. Romero's original screenplay, Dawn Of The Dead offers a modern spin on a classic zombie film.

The film starts with Ana (Sarah Polley) awakening to find that everyone are zombies now, including her husband, who tries to eat her brains. After a close escape out of her bathroom window, she gets the hell out of zombie-suburbia and eventually finds shelter in a nearby shopping mall. A rag-tag team of survivors are thrown together, and they fight to survive a zombie apocalypse that appears to be destroying the world. In-between hiding in the mall, the occasional zombie break-in, an one final push to find help, we discover the true nature of the survivors, as their personality intertwines with their fate.    

Dawn Of The Dead opts for an infectious zombie apocalypse. The film does not tell us why or where it came from, but instead tells us from the start of the film: "Hey, here's a bunch of zombies, questions? Deal with it." You do know that if you are bitten by a zombie, well, you're going to turn into a zombie. This is basic zombie-foreplay, and I do not fault anyone for making this movie blatantly mysterious.

What separates Dawn Of The Dead from great zombie movies, like 28 Days Later..., is the complete lack of forward progress. We spend 3/4ths of the movie bunkered down in a mall. You may argue that it adds a feeling of suspense, dread, and claustrophobia and, to an extent, it does. There see some intense moments; there are some creepy scenes; and it's real, more than anything. You can relate to the characters, their situation, their fears, everything; it would just be a bit funner if they spent more time killing zombies.

The visual effects are superb; the acting is decent; and I have no major complaints regarding Dawn Of The Dead. It's a fun ride from beginning to end; it slows down at points, but delivers a modernized zombie horror flicked that is a pleasure to watch. 

Rating: 7/10

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