John McPhail (director)
30 November 2018 (released)
05 November 2018
In recent years zombie movies have been created in every way imaginable…or so I thought but Anna and the Apocalypse manages to find a new way of resurrecting the theme one more time. The combination of horror, comedy, Christmas and music is such that it might have found a unique place in the in-between Halloween and Christmas stage, that only Nightmare Before Christmas has done right. The mix of genres was done so well that none of them feel out of place, contrived or unnecessarily crammed in.
Anna (Ella Hunt) is your typical teenager, dreaming of the day she can escape small town and explore the world and discover what the rest of her life has in store for her. Unfortunately those dreams are put in jeopardy when a virus starts turning people into zombies. To have any chance of survival Anna and her friends need to fight…..and sing?
During the first act of this film you could believe it was just a normal Christmas musical, nice songs that introduce you to the characters, their motivations and desires, all coming to an end with a song where you see Anna singing and dancing, headphones in, blissfully unaware of the zombie outbreak all around her.
There are a number of action scenes that are also all accompanied with a song, well-choreographed and, in places, better than some blockbuster action films, all coming with elements of humour and a splash of blood. The comedy side of the film does dissipate as the film comes towards its conclusion and the atmosphere gets a little more serious. The majority of the plot is about our heroes trying to make it back to school where they believe it is safe and they will find their loved ones. This is a common theme that you find in a lot of Christmas movies, someone desperately trying to make it back before it’s too late and they are left alone.
Anna and the Apocalypse does something few films are capable of, mixing up different genres and giving each of them enough importance so they don’t feel squeezed in for the sake of it. The songs are memorable enough (always good for a musical) with just enough over the top gore to give this a real zombie thrill and a charm that Shaun of the Dead managed to do 14 years ago.