When you read the plot synopsis for this movie, it might make you think that it’s the new franchise to fill the gap left by the Twilight series, but with zombies this time around. Luckily, the movie is more than that.
Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class, Skins) stars as a zombie who can’t remember anything about his old life, so he wanders through the world trying to collect mementos and other peoples’ memories (by eating their brains). Well, when he falls for the very-much-alive Teresa Palmer (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), his life becomes much more complicated.
Hoult is perfect as the slack-jawed zombie, able to convey a lot of thought through very basic twitches and shrugs. His narration is also spot-on, contrasting starkly to the very-much-dead zombie we see on the screen. Palmer is decent, but nothing special. I can say that her reactions to a zombie that falls for her is a pretty realistic evolution (or, as realistic as we can expect).
Rob Corddry (The Daily Show) also steals the show as Hoult’s “best friend.” John Malkovich also appears as the jaded military leader in a role that seems a little beneath him. He does a good job with the script he was given.
Now, where I was really impressed. They managed to tackle this story without replicating the huge amount of zombie tales that have come out recently and also without trying to emulate the success of the Twilight series. This is a fresh and creative take, on both accounts. It was a love story but one that made me actually tear up at times. It was also an intense action story. And then it would also surprise you by getting really deep at times. A poignant moment in the opening scene, shows the comparison of the zombie horde to today’s culture, where we stumble into each other as we stare at our phones. Are we already zombies?
What didn’t work…
Not much! If anything, the script is a little predictable but the journey to that point has some twists and turns. It also veers pretty close to getting overdramatic as the romance story gains momentum.
This movie hit all the bases I wanted it to hit. I enjoyed every minute of it and I was pleasantly surprised. The theatre experience would be worthwhile for this film, so consider taking time in the next few weeks to check it out. You won’t be disappointed!