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Dawn Of The Dead 2004

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I was a little apprehensive about watching this, the recent remake of Romero’s all-time classic ’70s gore-filled, zombified swipe at consumerism. From what I’d heard and read in reviews, it did a good job of taking the original and modernising it in a satisfying way. But that didn’t mean it’d necessarily be all that good as a film, and i’m rather fond of the original…
The first 10 or 15 minutes is perhaps where the genius of this remake shines through the most. The slow build-up, giving a nice air of tension – you KNOW there’s gonna be zombies, and probably LOTS of ‘em, but when, and how? – explodes into a frantic escape sequence, as nurse Ana speeds off in her car, through suburbia gone literally crazy – screaming and gunshots and explosions and fires and car crashes and sirens everywhere – trying to find a little sanity in a world suddenly turned upside-down. She ends up crashing, but is found by a policeman, and together they come across a handful of other survivors, and head to a mall for shelter. Like the original, they hole up, and make the most of the stuff in the shops, but unlike the original, this is still the first days of the zombie plague. Information is scarce at best, and panic is everywhere, but like the original, some people do work out that the plague spreads via bites from those already zombified, and the way to neutralise them is destory their brain, and burn the body.
There is a little less action than in the original, but there’s still plenty of gore, and plenty of tension. One of the guys is an alocoholic, a nice touch in this day and age, and given the number of survivors, you’d expect there to be more, on average. The chief security guard (three of the mall’s security staff are amongst the group) is a character many will be somewhat familiar with – a guy in a position of minor power, a little dumb, quite petty, and a bit of a wuss.
In fact, all the characters in this are well-written. That’s also why there’s less action in this remake; there’s a little more emphasis on the characters and their interactions. And the…no, I won’t give that plot bit away. You’ll likely see it coming a mile off, but that still doesn’t prepare you for it when it actually happens.
The end sequence is very good too. As their situation becomes more desparate, and their numbers begin to dwindle, the survivors decide they need to try and get out, and find somewhere safer. They form a plan (a pretty basic one at that) and head out into the zombieness. One of the vehicles they use has got a slit in either side, for one of the passengers to stick a chainsaw’s blade out of, for to make zombie sushi with. This is one of those good little touches, something that at the time you first see it, appears to have little importance, but does play an important role…
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…when the vehicle crashes and the guy holding the chainsaw is thrown about with the others in there, and as you’d guess, he loses control of the chainsaw with rather messy consequences.
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A worthy remake, this. It does the original justice, and manages to actually update the story quite well. 5/5
This was first posted on my blog.

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About jadester48

  • Luci

    HI, i recently watched dawn of the dead and thought it was really funny cos the only film im scared of is the ring- pathetic i know, anyways does anyone know what the song was at the beginning of the movie on the dvd menu??? i really like this song and would appreciate if you could tell me what its called thanx xxx

  • Matt Aron

    This film has an excellent beginning what with the zombie chase and escape ordeal. Then things change once they reach the mall. It gets realllly dull. Most of the time I just wished that the zombies would learn to smash the windows in or use a ladder to get into the building. 2/5 for a boring fight for survival. Still much improved from the original which nowadays is like watching a parody of the remake.