Dawning of the Dead #MovieReview

Prepare for a zombie apocalypse this Christmas!

Uncork’d Entertainment and filmmakers Tony Jopia, Nika Braun, Yannis Zafeiriou and Alexander Zwart reanimate the silly season with Dawning of the Dead, premiering on Digital 12/5.

While a virus that causes the dead to reanimate brings the world to its knees, the scientist responsible entrusts his cataclysmic findings to Katya Nevin, a troubled ex-war correspondent turned anchor-woman at W.W News. While she and the rest of her crew witness the collapse of society via video feeds from around the globe, a deadly special agent climbs the building floor by floor, his only goal to ensure her silence. Armed only with information and an indomitable will to live, Katya must overcome her crippling anxiety and learn to lead in order to make it out of the studio and into a terrifying new world where only the dead survive.

Honey Holmes, Leo Gregory, Pixie Le Knot, and Sean Cronin star in Dawning of the Dead, on Digital 12/5 and DVD 3/6.

Dawning of the Dead Review

I was given a screener of this film prior to release for review consideration.

Although the first couple of minutes of the film had me wincing, by the end of Dawning of the Dead, I had developed a surprising amount of affection for the film. As you might be able to tell via the key art above, this was not a film that tried to take itself too seriously. And that’s good, because if it had been a serious horror film, it would have failed…horrifically. Instead, Dawning of the Dead owned its cheese factor with considerable aplomb, and balanced it out with some surprisingly serious and well-acted scenes when you least expected them.

I have seen a ton of zombie movies. I’m almost guaranteed to watch a film if you tell me zombies are involved. Most of the time, the newscast scenes announcing the outbreak are basically not worth remembering. They’re there to instill the seriousness of the situation, or show how massive the outbreak has gotten. Ruth Galliers does a solid job with this scene in Dawning of the Dead. Enough so that I stopped giggling and actually sobered up for a moment as I listened to her. In fact, her character, Katya Nevin, had become one of my favorite female leads in a zombie movie by the end of the film. She definitely a screen presence that demands your attention. I can’t wait to see her in more films.

One of the (many) things I appreciated about this film is that there is a lot of role reversal in it. On the whole, the women tend to be the strong, take-charge, ‘we can survive this’ characters, and the men take on the more emotional, freaking out roles. There were a few exceptions, but on the whole, it was a nice change up. Especially when the egotistical, sexist pig continually gets put firmly in his place, and then proceeds to lose his mind in a satisfyingly embarrassing way.

There were a lot of hilarious scenes in the movie, and I don’t want to spoil them for you so I won’t say much. But there are some nods to popular zombie films, including one to Dead Alive that just leaves you grinning. And if you roll your eyes at the whole ‘headshot every time’ thing, you’ll need to watch this film for an absolutely ridiculous scene involving donuts and dead things. The director and writers had a lot of fun poking at the more ridiculous aspects of zombie films with Dawning of the Dead

The CGI was painful, though. It was blatantly obvious whenever something in a scene was CGI. If there was one thing I would have changed about this movie, it would have been to just eliminate these scenes. And the zombies were, well, I’m sure everyone had lots of fun doing their best zombie shamble. Lets just leave it at that.

Overall, while I desperately wish they had been given a bigger budget, Dawning of the Dead was a highly amusing film that is perfect for fans of horror comedies. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s a great film, but it was highly entertaining. They did a fantastic job, all things considered. It looks like a movie that was a lot of fun to film.


Note: This is supposed to publish at 8:30 AM. At 9 AM, if everything goes right, Miss L will be under sedation and her heart cath and bronchoscopy will be starting. So, uhm, positive thoughts, please, people.