Before you delve into this review, be sure to take a look at the rest of the Halloween marathon!
Zombies. One of the most famous horror monsters of all time (if not ever – at least currently with The Walking Dead). With such a reputation, it’s funny how the sub-genre has turned out, especially in the last twenty years or so. When the idea was first brought to prominence by George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, the genre exploded and zombie films took over the screen, still, that height in popularity would never be replicated again. At least, not in abundance.
With the first House of the Dead and Resident Evil games released in 1996, they were immediately popular but it would take a further six years to reach that level of popularity on the big screen. Then came along two groundbreaking horror movies: Resident Evil and 28 Days Later. Because of this, in 2002 it seemed imminent that the world would see zombie movies overtaking their lives again. Soon after in 2004, Shaun of the Dead completely changed the genre.
Yet sadly, all we were met with was straight-to-DVD schlock until the release of Zombieland. Even The Walking Dead, one of the most popular TV shows still running at the moment, was not enough to revive the once-great genre. Zombieland‘s sequel even cracks a joke about how dead zombie movies have been over the last ten years. But we’ll get to that later.
Featuring an all-star cast of Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin, Zombieland burst onto the scene, quadrupling its budget and immediately becoming popular around the globe.
From the very opening, it’s obvious that director Ruben Fleischer had made something special. The rules, made up by Jesse Eisenberg’s character Columbus, perfectly sum up Zombieland‘s self awareness. It takes the many rules made up by fans in the past and places them (literally) on screen.
The script is truly fantastic. Not only is it hilarious, but the world-building, character development and chemistry between everyone, as well as the pacing, are incredibly well done. Probably the biggest reason for the movie being such a smash hit, besides the acting, of course. Everybody plays their parts perfectly – with Woody Harrelson being Zombieland’s MVP, but that’s hardly any surprise.
As for the zombies, the movie doesn’t exactly do anything new with them but plenty with the kills. The introduction of the rules, as well as kill of the week, allow for some gruesome kills but the main characters produce some unique deaths.
Zombieland is without a doubt one of the finest zombie movies ever made, taking the genre in multiple new directions and really creating something special, all the while allowing the audience to laugh their asses off. It’s just a shame that no matter how hard the zombie genre tries, there’s no bringing it back from the dead. Not truly.
Rating = 4/5