Following a zombie outbreak on Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries are hired to venture into the quarantine zone to retrieve a stash of money hidden in an underground vault. Zack Snyder (Justice League) returns to the zombie genre he pretty much reinvented with his well received Dawn of the Dead remake, this time under the guise of a heist movie.
With the director’s brand of stylish visuals and frenetic action, whilst not breaking the mould … this proved a fun experience. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Dave Bautista heads a mostly unknown cast in this action horror, and proves a likeable lead. A subplot revolving around Bautista’s daughter, who tags along on the heist to rescue the mother of two children … felt a bit forced just to create a father/daughter bonding angle which only complicates an already dangerous mission. Also a sequence involving an army convoy at the beginning, is left unexplained. At 2 and a half hours, this also felt padded out, with needless sequences such as a long bit inside a building sneaking past sleeping zombies.
However the movie does deliver great action, the zombie tiger seen in the trailer is awesome, and as for gore, whilst infrequent, there’s some stand-out moments. The band of mercenaries are also entertaining and have good banter. Overall, not quite the evolution of the zombie flick it’s marketed as, and it does get very silly – but I still came away entertained.
I really liked the first Zombieland. It felt like America’s answer to Shaun of the Dead,, and although it wasn’t quite as clever as that Simon Pegg vehicle, it had tons of personality and a great cast. This sequel, which I’d never expected but was hyped for none the less reunites us with our American-state-named survivors Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) etc. during the zombie apocalypse following the discovery of a mutated, even deadlier version of the creatures they’ve become a little too relaxed with despatching.
Clearly the story is a fairly basic excuse to do another Zombieland and although this fails to further build on what came before or flesh out the setting, with barely any exploration of the zombie threat … just being in the company of these chatacters again was good enough. Harrelson, Stone and Eisenberg still have great chemistry and their frequently comical banter is pure joy. Honestly, I dont think i could ever get bored of these characters. Harrelson is especially on brilliant form and steals many of the best scenes. Although, less said about a tiresomely pouty Abigail Breslin as Little Rock and that incrdibly annoying millenial bimbo that turns up, the better.
A shortage of new ideas makes this sequel a bit lazy, but the comedy, some decent zombie killing action and just plain fun characters all sparking off each other, made for solid entertainment regardless – and yeah, I’d welcome a part three with open arms.
There’s certainly been a number of quality movies coming out of Korea in recent years … from the acclaimed films of Park-chan Wook (‘Old Boy’, ‘Sympathy for Mr Vengeance’) to quality horror like ‘I Saw The Devil’. So I thought after enjoying such movies, I’d better seek out some more Korean cinema. So we come to this much talked about take on the 28 Days Later formula of a virus outbreak and a hoard of ‘infected’. This time during a routine train journey.
We’re introduced to a businessman (Yoo Gong) going through a messy divorce and trying to retain some sort of relationship with his daughter. However on a train journey to take her back to her mother, said business man and a group of interesting characters soon discover that a virus has broken out and is spreading like wildfire. This is classic stuff, not dissimilar to a disaster movie where the viewer is introduced to a range of personalities each with their own agendas and back stories. However with the threat of a growing number of infected on the train and not knowing if the destination is safe, a battle for survival quickly ensures with tension cranked up to 11. I felt this brought back genuine thrills and intensity to horror that seems to have been missing for a while. It favours heart-in-mouth moments (whenever a window shatters) over gore and has impressive CGI and slick production values throughout.
The setting was claustrophobic and made for some genuinely chilling moments and the range of different characters (all well acted, particularly the young girl) made me care for not just the principle leads but almost everyone (bar a particularly selfish guy who you’ll be booing towards the end). It’s the sort of movie that keeps you guessing about who will survive and how things will turn out and for me, made for probably the best movie of the year so far.
Yes I watched this and yes I’m on a bit of a horror binge of late. This decidedly silly concept movie has been getting a bit of buzz on the ‘horror scene’. Three girls decide to get away from it all and head off to a secluded cabin near a lake. However following the accidental spillage of some toxic chemicals into said lake, a group of resident beavers start to take on ravenous, zombie characteristics.
It’s a seriously daft idea for a movie but done tongue planted firmly in cheek and jam-packed with an infectious sense of humour and a love for genre horror. We get horny teens, boobs, blood and carnage and a few clichés like the bitch, the nerd and the girl getting over her boyfriend cheating. Effects are passable, with the animatronic / stop-motion beavers themselves proving effective, but with a low budget the lack of invention to the kills is jarring and some mutant zombie / human / beaver hybrid action only just makes up for this. The script does however have some good one-liners and a few decent pay-offs and it’s all done with plenty of enthusiasm. Acting is serviceable at best, and I’d have liked a bit more character to the girls and their horny boyfriends … but in the end you’re just waiting to see who gets killed next and in what way.
Yet this still manages to be a lot of fun. It knows what it is and doesn’t try to be anything else. A bit more money thrown at the effects would have given this more of a status to stand alongside say, Evil Dead 2 or Piranha 3D. Yet for what it is, this still deserves to be seen – just bring plenty of beer, popcorn and friends and you’ll have a blast.
What the previous, third entry in this popular cult franchise had in personality, gore and entertainment, it lacked in under-the-skin scares and dread, whilst adding very little to the story. Oh and why it was called Genesis is anyone’s idea. However a bride wielding a chainsaw will always get points from me.
So we come to this fourth and probably final entry in the franchise, as lone survivor Angela; the reporter who managed to get through the horrors of the apartment building in the first two movies, finds herself on a boat surrounded by scientists and the military amongst the regular crew. Have they managed to contain the virus that caused people to turn into ravenous zombies? Thankfully this is a return to the more serious, claustrophobic and tension filled tone of the first two movies, dropping much of the schlock of the third, which at times was more comedy than horror. The hand-held camera approach that worked so well initially doesn’t make a return however but that’s no major loss (apart from causing the title to make little sense) and I still found this pretty nail biting stuff. Following on from the shock climax of the second movie, I enjoyed the is-she isn’t-she of Angela’s infection, wondering what the scientists are really up to, and why there seems to be a monkey running around.
In Manuela Velasco’s Angela we have a gutsy, suitably sexy heroine who is supported well by some interesting characters, including a geeky tech guy who just happens to be the plucky reporter’s number-one fan. The movie barely touches on the demonic possession angle of the previous movies however and is much more straight-forward action horror – with a very exciting and intense final act. Yet by the time we reach this fourth entry, clearly the story is scraping the ideas-barrel … and a parasitic organism just isn’t as scary as possession, despite the franchise’s initial potential. For a zombie-fest though, I still had a good time.
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