Friday, May 8, 2015

Maggie - 3 stars

There was a time when zombie movies were straightforward horror movies about people killing zombies and trying not to be eaten.  Now zombies are so main stream that you can have a romantic comedy about them (Warm Bodies), a buddy comedy (Shaun of the Dead) or a number one rated network series (The Walking Dead). 

This movie is about Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and his daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin).  She’s just been bitten by a zombie.  When Wade picks Maggie up from the hospital, the doctor tells him that she will start to show signs of aggression.  She’ll lose her appetite … and then she’ll get it back …

Instead of being a horror movie, this movie is more of a drama.  There are a couple of scenes of zombie killing, but most of the time we are just observing how Wade and his family deal with this tragedy.  Watching it I really felt the horror that Maggie was experiencing.  She keeps picking at her bite like it’s a sore.  We watch as her eyes start to turn a milky white and her veins turn black. 

In the movie, the zombie outbreak has been going on a while.  Society hasn’t broken down like in The Walking Dead – there are still police officers and working hospitals – but there are stores and gas stations left empty.  It’s somewhere in between normal society and The Walking Dead.  When someone is infected and is close to turning, they are sent to a quarantine zone.  There’s a really great scene where Maggie goes camping with her friends and they try to pretend that life is normal.  They sit around a campfire talking about what it’s like in the quarantine, but they could be sitting around talking about normal high school stuff.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has never been known for his acting abilities, but he’s pretty good in this movie.  He gets a couple of zombie killing scenes, but for the most part he’s just a dad trying to keep his family together.  If you go in looking for an exciting zombie movie, or a typical Schwarzenegger action movie, you’ll be disappointed.  I enjoyed the movie for what it was.  It creates a great sense of dread and suspense as you wait for the moment when she’ll turn on her family.

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