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Gavin Greig [userpic]

Shaun of the Dead - film review

April 20th, 2004 (09:43 pm)
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I went to see Shaun of the Dead with some trepidation. Frankly, I'm not a fan of horror movies and the thought of going to see Dawn of the Dead would never have crossed my mind. However, the people involved in this "...romantic comedy. With zombies." built up a lot of credit with me when they created Spaced.

So, is it any good?

The answer is probably yes. As I thought might be the case, I found the horror content off-putting - blood, gore and general body-horror is not my scene. If you get a laugh out of "serious" zombie movies, this won't be a problem for you. Knowing what the Spaced team are like, I will also certainly have missed a lot of humorous references to classic zombie movies.

However, on balance, despite my unreasonable anti-zombie prejudice, I did enjoy the film. The plot was engaging, I felt concern and sympathy for the characters, the action was realistic, the comedy though dark (zombie movie, remember!) was actually funny, even when I didn't really think it ought to be. And it really does fit into the romantic comedy mould as well as containing hordes of the undead. I came out of it feeling uplifted - if a bit soiled...

I would guess it will probably not be a big hit in the States. It is too British in its dialogue and downbeat style (though that's part of its charm), and a bit slow to take off, though if you are more familiar with zombie movies you might not find that so much as I did. I rather suspect that additional tension is being built by playing with the expectations that I don't already have from seeing other films.

I spotted most of the major cast members of Spaced and Black Books, with the notable exception of Bill Bailey, who could easily have been a zombie - maybe without makeup.

It was a "once is enough" film for me. The DVD will not be joining my collection. But if you think you might enjoy it, give it a try - you probably will.

Also on the plus side, by attending an early evening showing in mid-week, I got the New Picture House, a 1920s two-story barn of a movie theatre, almost entirely to myself - front-row centre in the circle. Luxury!

Comments

Posted by: Alice Dryden (huskyteer)
Posted at: April 21st, 2004 01:40 am (UTC)
Facepaint

Hmm, I was dubious about going to see this, also not being fond of gore and splatter (I get nervous about watching it beforehand, then discover it bores me silly). But everyone on my Friends list bar one has given it the thumbs up. Looks like I'll have to give it a go.

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