As August rolls in, Netflix bids farewell to many films and series to make for newer content. One such film leaving soon is Zack Snyder’s directorial debut, Dawn of the Dead.
A rare remake that earned plenty of praise for living up to the original George A. Romero’s 1978 horror classic. However, the success of Dawn of the Dead is often considered the beginning of the era of reboots, remakes, and remixes. Even Romero, who was pivotal in shaping the zombie genre in the 1960s and was often described as the Godfather of the genre, thought the film’s action sequences ultimately lacked purpose. He even suggested that it resembled a video game, a common criticism Snyder gets for all his movies, as do most modern-day action spectacles.
Romero was interviewed by Simon Pegg (who starred in the satirical zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead) for Time Out, where he shared his thoughts about the remake, “It was better than I expected. I thought it was a good action film. The first 15, 20 minutes were terrific, but it sort of lost its reason for being. It was more of a video game.”
Later Romero also told The Telegraph, “I sort of thought it lost its reason for being. I know a lot of people really like it very much – Stephen King, for example. I didn’t like it very much. Basically, because I was using the idea for satire. My film needed to be done right when it was done, because that sort of shopping mall was completely new. It was the first one in Pennsylvania that we had ever seen. The heart of the story is based in that. And I didn’t think the remake had it.”
Directed by Snyder and written by James Gunn, the zombie apocalypse film delivers an intense and heart-pounding experience nonetheless. The ensemble cast of Dawn of the Dead features Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, and Mekhi Phifer. In a nod to the original film, Scott Reiniger, Tom Savini, and Ken Foree make special cameo appearances in the remake.
With a talented cast and a gripping plot, Dawn of the Dead is still a must-watch for horror enthusiasts and lovers of disaster films. But read on if you want to know what the film is about before diving in.
What is Dawn of the Dead about?
Dawn of the Dead centres around a group of survivors trapped inside a suburban shopping mall during a sudden and devastating zombie outbreak.
The film begins with a gripping opening scene, as a nurse named Ana, played by Polley, wakes up in a chaotic world. Zombies have overrun society, and panic and terror grip the nation. Ana soon teams up with a small group of strangers, including Michael, played by Weber, and Kenneth, portrayed by Rhames, to escape without succumbing to the undead.
In search of a safe haven, the group takes refuge in a massive shopping mall, believing it to be the best option for survival. At first, the mall seems like a sanctuary amid the apocalypse, offering plenty of resources, shelter, and a sense of temporary respite. However, as time passes, the survivors realise they are not alone within the mall’s sprawling walls. They encounter another group of humans led by a no-nonsense, gun-toting character named CJ, played by Michael Kelly. Tensions rise as the two groups try to get along, leading to conflicts that threaten their already precarious situation.
Amidst the external struggles with the undead and internal conflicts among the survivors, Dawn of the Dead delved into themes of human nature, our survival instinct, and the lengths people will go to protect their lives and loved ones.
Why you should Dawn of the Dead on Netflix:
Dawn of the Dead is not your typical zombie film. While the undead and gore play significant roles, the movie goes beyond the surface-level scares and bloodshed. Snyder’s directorial debut showcases his talent for visual storytelling and crafting tense, heart-pounding sequences. The film’s atmosphere is dark and often visceral, something we have come to expect from the genre, which is perhaps why you should go back to where it all began before moving further down the cinema memory lane and catching up with Romero’s original.
Dawn of the Dead leaves Netflix on August 1st, 2023.