Director: Ruben Fleischer (2009)
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Find it online: IMDB

Every so often, a movie comes along that feels like it’s been tailor made just for you: a perfect little creature  which pushes all the buttons you like to have pressed in a movie. For me, Zombieland is one of those movies.

First best thing ever: Woody Harrelson as Tallahassee. Second best thing ever: Everything else. This is the best zombie movie since Shaun of the Dead. It’s funny and smart and even jump-outta-your-seat scary. There’s enough gore and outlandish zombie kills to keep the hardened gorehound happy, and enough humour, heart and wit to have the Indie crowd smiling. Even before the opening credits had finished rolling, I knew I’d love Zombieland. And how…

Fair enough, you might expect a few more zombies than you actually get. Zombieland is a teen buddy-comedy-road trip with zombies tacked on. It’s the story of a lad’s personal growth, and it just so happens to coincide with the zombie apocalypse. Kinda like Superbad if it was set in The Land of the Dead.

If you’ve seen any of the trailers or TV spots, you’ll know that Woody Harrelson is the best thing in it. He’s on a form unseen since Natural Born Killers. No disrespect to the other guys, but when his Tallahassee isn’t on screen, you’ll wish he was. He’s a big, tough zombie-killing machine that harkens back to such horror tough guys as Ashley Williams or TCM2’s Lefty Enright. Harrelson is awesome, but there are apparently other people in the movie too. Chief other person is Jesse Eisenberg as the whiny, anally retentive Columbus (yeah, the characters are all named after the places they come from – saves them from getting too attached, see) and Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin as a pair of sisters with serious trust issues. There’s also an excellent celebrity cameo which is simply perfect.

There are a couple of things that don’t work entirely. The girls’ intended destination (a massive theme park) hardly seems like the best hiding place in the world, whilst they make an incredibly stupid move in the final act (reminiscent of Shaun of the Dead’s jukebox bit). And I think the climactic shootout could’ve used a few more zombies. But then I’m just greedy.

For me, Zombieland is one of the finest horror movies of 2009, and one of the better zombie flicks of recent years. It’s witty, horrible, sweetly optimistic, well-acted and has quite obviously been crafted with care and intelligence. So, this Halloween, fuck the moneymaking-machine lazy studio bollocks of Saw IV and go see Zombieland again instead.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what it is about this film, but it just does not make me laugh. I'll sit there and watch it and think, "That should be funny," but it rarely raises a chuckle out of me. Yet, I can watch something like Shaun of the Dead our Dance of the Dead and laugh consistently each time. Zombieland just leaves me cold, but I can appreciate why others like it.