Genres: Horror, Thriller,

Rated: R

Country: USA

Year: 2004

Runtime: 110 minutes

Studio: Strike


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Review done by: Gruesome Griffon
Online since: February 20th, 2006
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Starring: Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, Mikhi Pfifer, Ty Burrell,
Michael Kelly, Kevin Zegers, Michael Barry, Lindy Booth, Boyd Banks

Directed by: Zach Snyder

Synopsis: Humanity is caught in the middle of crazed flesh eating
hordes. And the situation is getting worse. A group of survivors find
refuge in a massive shopping mall, but the zombie menace waits patiently
outside. With no outside help coming, the survivors must decide if they
should wait it out in the secured mall or take a chance and escape to a
zombie free zone.


Let’s get this out of the way right now. I don’t like fast zombies. Besides
being physiologically impossible for a corpse to become a world-class
sprinter, it is not as terrifying as an enemy that pursues you in a slow,
methodical way. You have the time to make rational decisions, but if you
guess wrong you are zombie chow. Undead speedsters don’t allow the
moment of decision or indecision as the case may be. Fast zombies have
as much inherent horror as being chased by a pack of wild dogs. Slow
zombies are the creeping horror. That said, I really didn’t hate the
remake. Director Zach Snyder (300) keeps up a frenetic pace with his a
bunch of mall misfits trying to keep their collective wits about them.
Consulting Max Brooks (author of The Zombie Survival Guide & World
War Z) earned Zach points as well. The flick has some excellent actors
and fun gore with a sprinkling of humor and cameos by some of the
original cast. I was semi-entertained by this contemporary interpretation
of one of my favorite gore-ified movies.

However, three specific things really irritated me. First, the use of digital
enhancement for the blood hits took me out of the picture. I don’t care
how many millions of dollars you spend on digital effects they will always
look unnatural. You could tell when practical blood hits were used which
only served to make the fake digital crap all the more apparent. The 2nd
thing is the fact that there was no struggle to secure the mall and there
was no real reason for anybody to leave the cushy confines. There is no
urgency to their dilemma and nobody to challenge on the outside. The
undead may be faster, but they’re still as smart as a bag of hammers.
The 3rd and worse offense has to be the pregnancy sub-plot. I hate to
spoil it, but writer James Gunn (Tromeo & Juliet, Slither) decided that not
only fast zombies were an improvement but why not throw in a zombie

A FREAKIN’ BABY ZOMBIE??? Well, at least Snyder nixed Gunn’s idea for
zombie dogs. The most ironic part of this movie is that I enjoyed the
special features on the disc more than the movie. The “Special Report”
and “Andy’s Lost Tape” are more interesting than the societal breakdown
in a “zombie proof” mall that has everything a person needs to survive
for a long, long time. I give Zach Snyder credit for taking a premise and
making it his own. But at the end of the day, it still pales to the original.

Overall: 6/10
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