Movie Review: Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Ok, so I know this is supposed to be Random Horror but I recently watched a few personal favourites and I thought I would utilise this medium to write about one of them. Everyone has that moment while watching a particular movie or even several when you find yourself with an overwhelming urge to watch it again immediately! Granted, that probably happens to me a lot more than it happens to most other people, what with my love for “rubbish” films and a reluctance to dish out any sort of bad review. One such occurrence came about 30 minutes into the remake of Dawn of the Dead!

Anyone who has read my previous post about remakes will know that I rate Dawn of the Dead as the best Horror remake so far and for anyone who likes horror films and has seen DOTD will hopefully agree that it deserves its place among the elite. Even for a remake, in my humble opinion it holds its own against the originals of the world.

For anyone who has not seen the remake, or dare I say it, the original then not only are you missing out but what the fuck have you been doing. I think you may be in the wrong place, if you haven’t seen either one but anyway, if you haven’t, pay attention.

Dawn of the Dead follows the lives of Ana, Kenneth, Michael and a host of others after a zombie outbreak hits the fair city of Milwaukee. The group decide to hold up and struggle for survival in a local shopping mall. The trials and tribulations of the group stretch far beyond the hardships of dealing with the zombie threat and they must work together to find a way to survive. While the storylines of zombie films tend not to sway too much from the standards set by Romero, they all include their own little quirks and gems which make them unique. This is no different, ok so the original was set in a mall but to compare the two films would be rather pointless. Small differences throughout help to create an original film which, whilst maintaining a certain level of nostalgia opens up its own chapter in the story. This clearly appeals to fans of horror in general and fans of the 1978 film. Unfortunately, this is something which was sadly way off the mark with the release of Day of the Dead, whose diabolical attempt to include one of the most recognisable zombies in movie history fell way short! The inclusion of a character called Bud, an obvious and lame attempt to connect the remake to the original via Howard Sherman’s Bub! The less said about this film though, the better!

Dawn of the Dead combines a great mix of humour, satire and gore coupled with on screen performances from an awesome case that includes the great Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, Mekhi Phifer, Ty Burrell, Michael Kelly and many others make the whole experience that little bit more enjoyable. Little touches like cameos from Ken Foree, Scott Reininger and Tom Savini only serve to increase the enjoyment! Anyone who doesn’t know who these people are should stop reading now!

While there are other more “original” zombie films available in the market today, films of this calibre help boost the genre in a way no other film can. Ask anyone which film they preferred out of Dawn of the Dead and Zombie virus on Mulberry Street for example and nine times out of ten the answer would be, mulberry what? This would prove my point perfectly!

Despite the obvious qualities of the remake, there are a few purists out there which do not give much credence to remakes for the simple fact that they are remakes! It sounds silly in a world where cinema is dominated with rebooted versions of loved films from years gone by and this is not limited to the horror world. At this moment in time, Total Recall is performing rather well at the box office and Dredd 3d is just around the corner!

Whichever way you lean, there is no denying that Dawn of the Dead is a fantastic film and one which deserves extra credit for helping to introduce the current generation of zombie fans to the genre I love so much!

Released: 2004
Dawn of the Dead (2004) on IMDb
My Rating: 8.5

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