Dawn of the Dead : Movie Review

Dawn of the Dead (2004)Following the recent resurgence of interest in zombie films horror fans have enjoyed Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil. Now first time director Zack Snyder’s gives us his contemporary take on the George A Romero classic: Dawn Of The Dead.

Snyder’s direction, not to belie his background in commercials and music videos, is slick and assured, yet never too flashy. The cinematography and editing are both inventive too.

The performances from a large cast including Sarah Polley and Ving Rhames are all sufficiently strong to sustain this type of movie. And whilst Polley’s robust performance is perhaps the most appealing Jake Weber contributes with a convincing turn as a cool-headed, yet beleaguered, every-man.

The story is gripping and although the pace is less frenetic than other genre outings there are plenty of shocks and scares. The humour is also pitch perfect.

There are a couple of sub plots but both are now ghastly genre clichés and therefore they only detract from James Gunn’s main plotline.

Although the explanation for the zombie outbreak is less than satisfactory, I found the lack of exposition refreshing as it allowed the film to flow naturally and quickly, as dictated by the characters’ situation.

Fans of the original will highlight the lack of Romero’s reputed social commentary. However the action and gore is probably more appealing to modern audiences. And besides it’s a horror film, not a three-hour Oscar contender.

4 stars out of 5

Author : Kevin Stanley