Directed by: Zack Snyder
Premise: When the earth is covered by cannibalistic zombies, survivors take shelter in a shopping mall.
What Works: This is a fast paced and smart remake of George A. Romero’s film. It retains the best elements of the original and adds modern twists, such as giving the zombies more animation and incorporating contemporary technology into the story. There are some really nice character relationships, especially between Ving Rhames and Bruce Bohne, which raise this film above other horror and action films. The film moves along at such a brisk pace that it is able to maintain an energized level of fear.
What Doesn’t: The ending is a little sketchy and this film takes more of an action approach. Some of the social commentary of Romero’s film has been softened. It’s still there, but the change in the film’s pace eliminates some of the opportunities for deeper observations.
DVD extras: There are R-rated and unrated versions of the film. Audio commentary track, deleted scenes.
Bottom Line: Dawn of the Dead is a very satisfying film, especially when compared to many of the other horror films in recent memory. It successfully updates the zombie genre for contemporary audiences and preys on the fear of the invading hoard in the way that Romero’s films did.
Episode: #67 (September 11, 2005)