Shaun of the Dead

Poster
2004
Edgar Wright

9/10 (light)

Most people who are with it in any sense of the phrase already know about this movie, and have seen it and enjoyed it accordingly. For those of you who haven’t, well, take heart: There’s still time to de-lame-ify yourself and your life. Or maybe I should be welcoming you back from your six-year coma? “Shaun” is quite simply one of the best zombie films of all time, and one of the best horror-comedies as well. It’s more funny than scary but has plenty of blood, and the intelligence of the script separates it from other modern horror films.

What makes this movie for me is that unlike almost any zombie film I’ve ever seen, the characters in this movie are real people who are not living in a vacuum in which they’ve somehow never heard of zombies. Thus, they’re not taken by surprise when the actual invasion happens, because they’ve already had plenty of practice with the George Romero films, “Resident Evil,” and other video games. It may seem like a minor quibble, but it makes a difference. Think about it: in every other zombie film, the characters spend (at least) the first thirty minutes just wondering what is going on. Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his hilarious oaf of a friend Ed (Nick Frost) don’t have to bore us like that. They can matter-of-factly and without hyperventilation get straight down to the killing. The film also draws brilliant parallels in this way as well, comparing them both to zombies in the sense that they live the same boring, routine life and can barely differentiate reality from a video game.

What more do you need to know? “Intelligent and hilarious send-up of the zombie genre.” If you haven’t seen this yet, I promise that after viewing you will be glad that such smart and inventive fare exists. You will also be glad to be even a little bit less lame.

26 March 2010

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