“Dawn of the Dead” is the kind of movie that makes
people thankful for daylight. It’s a scary, bloody zombie
movie that will leave audiences disturbed, mortified and unnerved.
Though “Dawn” is a remake of the sequel to the classic
“Night of the Living Dead,” it’s surprisingly
original and an enjoyable ride.

Film Reviews
Anybody in the mood for some dying? (Courtesy of Universal)

Of course, none of the characters in the movie has too much fun.
It’s probably hard to enjoy yourself when flesh-eating
zombies have taken over the world, rapidly infecting humans with
their vicious bite. Although it’s a typical plot for a horror
flick, “Dawn” makes it seem real enough to be
scary.

This is accomplished in part by the film’s spectacular
prologue. Ana (Sarah Polley, “Go”), a nurse at a
Milwaukee hospital, quickly goes from leading a normal life to
fleeing a city engulfed in flames and ruin. She meets various other
survivors, with whom she takes refuge in the aptly named Crossroads
Mall. Together they struggle to protect themselves from the
unrelenting hoard of zombies attempting to get into the locked
mall.

The tight focus on the mall allows “Dawn” to work on
several levels. The characters’ access to television, as well
as their rooftop view, reveals the devastation and terror in the
outside world. At the same time, the close quarters of the mall
provide a medium that depicts the tension and fear within the group
of survivors. Viewers often wonder if the humans will kill each
other before the zombies are able to do so.

The zombies, however, are still the main object of horror in
this film and are not the slow, slobbering numbskulls of the past.
This brand of undead moves quickly and ravenously, not unlike the
creatures in Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later.” Their
bite infects normal humans, quickly turning friends into rabid
beasts.

“Dawn” is a constant barrage of gore and carnage
with zombie heads repeatedly being shot, blasted apart and stabbed.
Add the bloody zombie bites, the birth of an undead baby and an
accidental mutilation with a chainsaw, and it becomes clear that
“Dawn” is not for the squeamish. Even still, the gore
does not seem fake; it does not detract from terror.

While often gritty and disturbing, “Dawn” is an
exciting, hellish ride that will leave audiences desperate for
daylight by the time the credits role. Be sure not to leave too
early though; the originality of “Dawn” does not end
with the credits.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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