Review: Shaun of the Dead

June 25, 2006 at 2:53 PM (Movies)

Just finished watching Shaun of the Dead now and I must say, I was very, very impressed!!  As far as zombie movies go, I have seen the more popular ones released in the last few years — the Resident Evil movies, 28 Days Later, the 2004 Dawn of the Dead (I watched the unrated cut) and Romero’s Land of the Dead.  I have also seen the original Night of the Living Dead.  However, one crucial missing element is the 1978 Dawn of the Dead, which I have not seen yet.

Anyway, Shaun of the Dead offers a different take on the zombie genre, while still staying close to it.  This is a comedy/drama/horror mix that works very well!  Shaun (Simon Pegg, who also contributed to the screenplay, with director Edgar Wright) is a 29 year old "loser" who lives with his roommate, Ed (Nick Frost) and is going through some issues with his romance with Liz (Kate Ashfield) and his relationship with his Mum and stepdad.  It seems he is never able to do the right thing and take responsibility for his life.  Soon, however, there are zombies in the neighbourhood, and there is widespread chaos — and Shaun decides to take control once and for all, and save his loved ones.

Technically, this is a class production, with stylish photography and editing.  Lots of references to zombie movies throughout (I picked up on a lot of them, and the others, specifically the 1978 Dawn of the Dead ones, I got through the Trivia section for the film on the IMDb).  The zombie make-up and the special effects are all top-notch, and I also appreciated the music.  The writing and acting are also very good, and even a scenario like this is made believable.  There are lots of little things happening in the background from the very start (like news reports indicating that a meteorite entering the earth has caused a strange infection that turns people into zombies and starts reanimating corpses) suggesting an impending doomsday scenario, only our main characters don’t pick up on them until it’s too late.

The movie blends comedy/drama and horror very well, with both very funny sequences and creepy ones.  True to the genre, there is also quite a bit of blood and gore to be found here.  Overall, a great movie!

Rating: 8/10


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