From the Archive: Zombieland (2009)

It’s time to nut up or shut up! In preparation for ‘Double Tap’s’ release tomorrow, We are discussing the first movie in this Horror Comedy franchise


DIRECTOR:  Ruben Fleischer

STARRING:  Woody Harrleson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, and Abigail Breslin

SCREENPLAY:  Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick

GENRE:  Comedy/Horror

RUNTIME:  88 mins

★★★ 3.5 Stars

Seeing as I am going to see the second film in this franchise tomorrow night, I supposed I should probably watch the first one so I had a little backstory.

So Zombieland follows the basic premise of most zombie films. A zombie plague sweeps across the US, turning most of it’s inhabitants into flesh eating monsters, and the film follows a bunch of plucky survivors as they travel across the US trying to survive. The only twist here is that this film is a comedy.  So is almost a spoof of the real thing.

I am going to let you guys in on a secret, I really do not like comedies.  I don’t find forced humour funny.  I am much more fond of funny moments in otherwise non-comedic films as the comedy feels more genuine.  So if a comedy can make me crack a smile or two, then I consider it a win.  And this one was a win!  I may not laugh out loud like a lot of people, but the pairing of Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson was genius and their characters together made for something quite entertaining.

I liked that the story wasn’t aboutthe zombie apocalypse.  It was about a bunch of lost people finding each other; the zombies were just a catalyst.  Sort of a side story to add a little flavour.  And for that reason this film was giving me massive ‘Shaun of the Dead’ vibes and that was what made it so good.  It’s a zombie film, with death and guts and violence.  But it is also a great story with great characters and that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

This film really features a great cast.  I don’t think I have seen Jesse Eisenberg in a comedy before. I have never seen adventureland, so this was my first experience of him being comedic, and it worked surprisingly well, same with Emma Stone who I am also used to seeing in much more serious roles.  Woody Harrelson is funny even when he doesn’t try so it was no surprise this was just as good. But doe to my lack or propensity for comedies, I guess I may just be under exposed to these actors in funnier roles.

It was silly, and in many places completely over the top. But aren’t all zombie movies in one way or another.  And as someone who has seen a lotof zombie films, I can safely say that this is one of the better ones that I have seen recently.           

If I am honest, does this film really need a sequel?  Probably not.  But if the sequel promises to be anything like it’s predecessor, then it will be a laugh (or in case smirk) a minute movie.

I would recommend this for fans of Shaun of the Dead and Scary Movie.

Zombieland Is available to rent on Amazon Prime now or to buy on all forms of home media.

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