Zombie Night

Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah star in Zombie Night, a film that tells the story of two families trying to survive a horrific night where the dead rise from the grave. Yes, another film in the currently overly bloated field of zombie movies. Is there anything that sets this one apart from the rest of the pack? Is this one worth your time, or can you skip it and  not miss a thing?

Plot: As night falls in a small California town, the dead rise from their graves and go looking to feast on the flesh of the living. Two families band together to face a long night of terror, fighting to survive until sunrise.

The story of the film is pretty thin, so thin that those two sentences sum up the entire plot. That said, I did enjoy the plot for what it was and liked that it didn't try to go with an overly complex story. Too many zombie films these days feel the need to have some huge plot with a twist at the end, and I tend to dislike that. It was really a breath of fresh air to have a back to basics zombie story that was just about survival.

The performances by the actors was a lot better than I had expected them to be. At first the thought of Anthony Michael Hall and Daryl Hannah in a zombie movie triggered my WTF alarm, but in the end it  worked. In some cases actors trying a different genre doesn't turn out that great, but here it did and it was actually entertaining. Even the supporting cast really did a good job with what they had to work with and it made for an enjoyable viewing experience.

There were a few things that I really liked about this film. The first and thing I liked the most about it was that it followed the "Romero Rules" of zombies. They were slow moving, easily avoidable in  low numbers and were able to be killed with a good hit to the head. This movie also had great character interaction in my opinion and it really helped flesh out film and make the characters seem more real. The final thing that I really liked was that the characters weren't too heavily stereotyped in the movie, as opposed to almost every other zombie film that seems to have all the same character types.

While there wasn't a whole lot that I didn't like about the movie, there were still a few things that did bother me about it. Some of the characters really come off as annoying, specifically my least favorite character in the film " Nana" played by Shirley Jones.  Shirley Jones is a great actress, but to be perfectly honest her character could have been cut and I really think it would have improved the film. There were also points in the film where a lot of the story and the things the characters do make no sense. For instance there's a point in the film where two of the kids are put in a coffin for their "protection" and then the coffin is put in a mausoleum. Sure they may be safer than they were, but they're going to run out of air eventually and also not going to be able to get out on their own.

Zombie Night may not be a perfect film, but even with it's faults I found it to be a fun movie to watch. In 5 or 10 years it likely won't be regarded as one of the better entries into the genre, but I think it will be a fun film that is looked at as a throwback to the classic zombie movies.

Verdict: Enjoyable for what it is, just don't expect too much from it.


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