Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

27Mar/04Off

Run! Bite! Run Some More. Bite!

We finally caught the Dawn of the Dead remake tonight. I was pretty nervous about this as the original is easily one of my favorite movies and the usual philosophy for remakes/updates is nothing short of butchery. I think this was a pretty good reinterpretation on the whole.

A couple of things: I'm wondering how much longer the "fast zombie" is really going to be scary. 28 Days Later took great advantage of the fact that we're not accustomed to seeing zombies and predators that resemble zombies moving fast. Dawn of the Dead uses the same tact and it is still somewhat startling. I thought the other parallel between 28 Days Later and the remake was also interesting. This iteration of Dawn of the Dead also uses the infection paradigm that 28DL used. Corpses aren't erupting from their coffins and the recently slain, if they weren't bitten or something, don't automagically come back to life. This seems a little more plausible although when you're weighing that against the whole "dead people eating the living" it really doesn't seem that important.

Initially I was a little bothered by the exclusion of the criticisms of consumerism that were so important to Romero's version but a half dozen hours later has changed my opinion. I'm not sure that the humor and critique would've translated very well and I'm much happier with a scary movie than I am with a faithful copy.

The use of newer special effects is well done as well. The highway scenes really create an atmosphere of confusion and panic without being completely over the top with it. The sheer crush of numbers is also effective -- the scene with vans which is also on the site and some of the promo crap is completely crazy looking and when constrasted with the smaller numbers of zombies in the wild that you see earlier in the more conveys a sense of a rapidly accelerating plague. I was very happy when I left the theater. Maybe it was just the relief after the incredibly brutal first fifteen minutes of the movie.

I'm a little less sure about the credibility of the zombie baby and the guy who played Max Headroom being involved in the whole mess but it's really late and I really need to see this again preferably after the DVD comes out before I form any real opinion about the parts that detract. The ending was also kind of disappointing as Yoon pointed out on the way home. I like the actual cinematography but the ending is just too revealing. That's one of the things that I've always appreciated about Romero's movies -- the ambiguous endings. It really is worth your movie dollar though so don't take my word for it. Also, if you have children please don't take them. We had a couple of kids who could not have been more than eight sitting in front of us and I imagine that they're going to have some harsh dreams tonight.

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