Woo I decided to wait a little late on this post until I had seen Zombieland. I just got back from it. It was a whole lot of fun. I recommend it for zombie fans and horror/comedy fans easily.

Oh you want more though? Okay fine.

Thankfully, it isn’t a comedy where all the good lines are in the trailers. Many really good lines and moments are in the promo material, but this movie has a fair bit more to show you as well. I’m sure some people are going to wonder how scary it is… all I can say is don’t worry. It might get a mild jump or two out of you early on, but the film doesn’t really milk the scares…  it’s just there to have fun.

What really makes it is the characters. They manage to be funny, distinct, and surprisingly real, for this type of movie. For example, Jesse Eisenberg (who is not Michael Cera, despite all evidence to the contrary) plays a nerd who has survived the zombie apocalypse just because he’s neurotic and extremely careful. What a great little spin on the traditional nerd character of so many horror films and comedies. It makes sense, but somehow feels “new”… even if it isn’t. Woody Harrelson is at first a complete badass lunatic, who seems to want to slay zombies in as many different ways possible, but even he manages to get a couple vulnerable moments throughout the film. These are definitely played for laughs in the end, but they make sense with his character.

The other characters (and the celebrity cameo!) are also well written and fun to watch. While we’re mentioning characters, there aren’t any throwaway characters that join up with the group just to get devoured by the zombies later on. This movie doesn’t use stock horror characters at all.

This is not necessarily a negative for me, but it is worth mentioning. Around the middle of the film, the zombies all but disappear from the story. We see them lots around the beginning, with all the witty narration as Eisenberg’s character tells us all the various rules for surviving the zombie apocalypse, then we see tons of them at the end for the big finale, but the middle of the movie has very few zombies. This didn’t bother me so much, because I was enjoying spending time with the characters, but for the restless gorehounds among us, perhaps this needs to be mentioned.

What is perhaps the only negative in this movie is the aforementioned big finale. As you’ve probably seen in the trailer, they end up at an amusement park as a huge amount of zombies chase them around. It was fine at first, but eventually it reached a point where it felt like they just wanted to use EVERY possible amusement park related idea they could, instead of sticking to a few good ones. This is not a huge criticism, but it’s the one point where the movie feels a little over the top and contrived. Of course, this is a tough argument to make, because I am of course complaining about Woody Harrelson shooting zombies while on a roller coaster… so maybe that’s so awesome it can’t even be over the top.

You should absolutely see Zombieland if you’re even remotely interested. I’m very picky about horror comedies, but this is a great one.


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October 2009
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