Release Date: June 21 2013
I think it’s time to address the elephant in the room. The big, financially bloated, questionably written, poorly cast elephant. As we wrap up the end of 2012 and look toward what the coming year will bring us, there is some good news and some bad news. First, the good news: if you poke around horror news sites, you’ll see that 2013 is shaping up to be a good year as far as horror goes. Sure, there are still remakes (can Elijah Wood pull off Maniac?), and sequels (The Host 2 is a sequel people actually wanted, though!), and typical film déjà vu (now where have I seen Cuando Tu Carne Grite ¡Basta! before?) But no matter, because there’s also exciting films coming out of relatively new foreign markets, returning veteran directors, innovative anthologies, and indie films being released through both theaters and on demand platforms. The bad news? The so-called biggest film of the year, and the one that has already begun to bludgeon you about the head with its merciless “buzz” and advertising, is also the one that looks downright terrible: World War Z.
Now, having read Max Brooks’s novel and being one of the dwindling zombie fans left on earth I could list myriad reasons why this trailer doesn’t excite me. Leaving aside any eye rolling about fast zombies, or complaints that the film has next to nothing in common with its source material, I watch this trailer and… yawn. This is Michael Bay’s rendition of Dawn of the Dead, right? Oh wait, my notes tell me the director isn’t Bay, it’s Marc Forster, director of Monster’s Ball. (Fun fact: IMDb claims a broke Forster once turned down half a million dollars to direct a movie because he thought the script didn’t look good. Guess he didn’t want to make that mistake twice.) So if I leave out my fan-based bitterness, what we’re left with in the trailer for Z is a lot of underwhelming panoramic shots of beige cities and foreign lands, running, helicopters, running, guns, explosions, and running. What’s missing? Only the human element. And don’t tell me it’s represented by Brad Pitt, a UN employee who’s off to save the world from the zombie pandemic… right after he saves his family. I’m bored to tears! And can you imagine how the non-zombie fans feel? Let’s face it, we’re up to our ears in zombies lately and World War Z producers must feel they were late to the game since there’s nary a mention of the Z-word in this trailer. Replace zombies with anything – disease, terrorism, a serial killer – and the problem is still the same. The trailer, and probably the film, is so underwhelming I think it actually lowered my resting heart rate.
By Kiki McGraw