Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
As the world wakes up to find a zombie epidemic has spread overnight, a group of survivors takes refuge in a shopping mall.
Remaking Romero's cult classic, Dawn Of The Dead, could be seen as either very brave, or simply asking for trouble. Especially if you're going to change the zombies to make them fast moving. But I have to say Zack Snyder has done a remarkable job. The story begins with a shocking pre-credits sequence, which rapidly takes us from peaceful normality (in the evening) to hellish chaos (at dawn). There's a constant sense of dread throughout, and the director certainly knows how to build and maintain tension. As in the original movie, there's plenty of violent horror to keep the gore lovers happy. The special effects are creative and well executed, and the CGI used is impressively convincing.
As well as the horror elements, the film deals well with the humanity of the survivors, whose characters are sympathetically drawn and performed. When something happens to one of them, we really do care. And there are some sensitively written and genuinely moving scenes amid all the action and the horror.
Overall, this version of Dawn Of The Dead is a slickly produced and effective horror film in its own right. It's fast moving, packed with action, suspense, gruesome effects, believable characters, and just when you think it's all over... Let's just say, carry on watching through the closing credits to be surprised at what really happens at the end of the story! Much as I admire Romero's original film and it's significance in horror cinema history, for sheer edge-of-the-seat entertainment, I'd have to say I actually enjoy this one more.