Why 17 days? Because 17 is my favorite number.
The Dawn of the Dead remake starts out with the same overarching premise of a zombie apocalypse, and its characters (which have been exponentially multiplied) even seek sanctuary in a shopping mall. The mall, however, is just a location, a grand fun-house of sorts with endless opportunities for jump-scares and gory set pieces. It offers plenty of great places for the action to play out, particularly in that creepy underground garage, but there is little in the way of social commentary on the situation.
Perhaps that’s a good thing. After all, this is Halloween. Some folks want their scares fast and loose, not attached to a Sociology lecture. Some folks turn to horror because they don’t want to think. Nothing wrong with that, is there?
No, nothing wrong with that. Like my first writing professor used to say, “McDonald’s is fine, but then there’s food.” That sort of sums it up for me. As I said in my review of the Shining miniseries, I like the full buffet. I like to think, but I also like to feel. I like the movie that makes me wet myself, and I like the movie that I can discuss with my friends at the coffee shop afterwards. You will find, as you progress through this list, that the horror films in my library encompass all of the above.
Zach Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead is a Big Mac of a movie, and when it comes to Halloween, I have to be in the mood for it. I’m not sure if the mood will strike me tonight, especially so soon after watching Romero’s original, but once the room darkens and those opening chaotic scenes kick into gear (beautifully setting the tone for the film, I might add), I’m sure I’ll be hooked.
It may not a good night for a Big Mac, but what the hell? I’ll have one anyway.
[Note: You can probably see in the photograph of my DVD that it is a double feature of Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead and George Romero’s Land of the Dead, the fourth in his zombie anthology. While Romero is still considered the king of the zombie movie, I have a hard time getting into Land of the Dead. In an effort to stay true to form, Romero’s attempts at social commentary become almost too heavy-handed, bogging the film down. It is a good film and a solid entry into the series, but it says something that of the two I'd rather watch a remake of the master rather than the master's latest installment.]
Previous Days of Halloween:
Day 1 – Baby’s Breath
Day 2 – Phantom of the Paradise
Day 3 – The Shining (miniseries)
Day 4 – 28 Days Later
Day 5 – 28 Weeks Later
Day 6 – Dawn of the Dead (original)