Sunday, May 23, 2010


Zombieland (Ruben Fleischer, 2009) [4]

I normally could care less about horror movies. It is by far my least favorite genre and it takes something other than just blood and guts to get me to see one. I was led to believe that Zombieland was a bit different, that it took an ironic wink at the the zombie film subgenre. Not really. It has all the ridiculous gore that seems to be pre-requisite with horror films these days and a few amusing moments but not much else. The problem here is the humor, which is so self-amusing in its writing ("Hey! Let's make the characters go to Bill Murray's house so maybe Bill Murray can be in this!", the stupid rules that keep popping up) that it creates far too many groan-inducing scenes for me. Most of it is a whirlwind of picking off zombies and half-hearted stabs of emotional development as the main characters come to grips with what this world of zombies have left them. That is the film's greatest lost opportunity, to take a serious examination of these characters and meld them into the horror genre, but it does not. Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg have some fairly good moments together early on but as the body count increases, that fades away. What makes something like Dawn of the Dead (the Romero original, the only horror film I think rises above genre) is that it actually has a serious critique underneath its splatter. Zombieland takes moments that one could think have this possibility but then let it fitter away in mostly weak humor.

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