Dawn of the Dead (2004)

I knew this was a bad idea even before I even pressed play, but here we are. Another terrible movie under my belt and nothing but frustration to show for it. After Scream 4 I just figured, what the hell, if Scream 4 managed to be that good, I might as well give this a try. Damn my naivety. Damn it to hell.

In all fairness, I did appreciate the fact that they at least attempted to be creative with the remake, rather than just copy the original scene by scene. I even liked some of the new additions, the zombie baby, that was pretty creepy as an idea even if it didn’t work in the end, and the long distance friendship thing that Ving Rhames had with Andy the gun store owner had some nice moments that actually made you smile. But that’s about it with things on the plus column. The rest is just nothing but cons.

Let’s start with an easy one: the movie is boring. Almost as dull as watching paint dry. And equally eventful. No wonder I didn’t like Guardians of the Galaxy, if this is the quality you can expect of James Gunn’s screenwriting. The remade story  completely misses what made the original Dawn of the Dead such a classic. Gone is the social commentary, in is… horrible action, one dimensional characters and running zombies that fail utterly to build a menacing and terrifying atmosphere for the story. It’s kinda funny in a sad way how poorly they develop the cast in this movie, and why for whatever reason they thought it was then a good idea to add even more characters to the mix later on when they didn’t do much with the cast that they already had. Because hey, we totally need more people to waste space and screen time more effectively so that the movie never can get around making us even slightly acquainted with any of the characters before they suffer horrible deaths.

Dawn of the Dead circa 2004 is a text book example of a shallow remake. It’s completely unnecessary, it comes nowhere near matching the quality of the original and it has nothing new to offer in terms of improving or reinventing the story apart from the zombies running gimmick which isn’t even that scary. If anything, the running just manages to make the movie even more boring because it only contributes half-assed jump scare shenanigans with temporary adrenaline rush that has no real menace behind it because it doesn’t build up that tormenting, lingering, terrifying idea that death can be around any corner. If there is a zombie near, it will come running in few seconds and then the characters can just blast its brains off with their guns, problem solved. There is no real unstoppable mob feeling to it, which is bizarre because they always move in massive groups in this movie. And that in a way just goes to show how terrible the remake is when it can’t even make something as simple as that work.

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