31 Days Of Hallowe'en: Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
Welcome to JOE's 31 Days Of Hallowe'en. For each and every day of October, we'll be bringing you a horror movie to tuck into for the lead up to the big night. It could be new, old, an undiscovered gem, or a classic you'll have seen a thousand times. No matter what it is, we guarantee you that it is brilliant, and it is SCARY.
For Day 25, we're looking back over 2004's fantastic zombie remake, Dawn Of The Dead.
A very impressive cast includes Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, Mekhi Pfeiffer, Kevin Zegers, Michael Kelly (Doug Stamper from House Of Cards) and Ty Burrell (Phil from Modern Family).
A script by James Gunn, who would go on to write and direct Guardians Of The Galaxy.
A hot new director with a unique visual style who would go on to helm the likes of 300 and Watchmen.
All of that combined still didn't balance out the fact that someone in Hollywood had the balls to remake George Romero's classic zombie movie Dawn Of The Dead, but thankfully they did, because it turns out that this re-do is one of the few examples that can stand alongside the original in terms of quality.
Clip via Movieclips Trailer Vault
Kicking off with an unexplained zombie outbreak set to a particularly poignant Johnny Cash song, we're soon holed up in a huge shopping mall with the handful of survivors. Zombies are outside, wanting to get in. Survivors are inside, wanting to get out. Tensions rise, and all hell breaks loose.
The on-the-nose subtext of consumerism and mindless following of day-to-day routines is as on-point as ever before, but between Gunn's smart updating of the story and director Zack Snyder's vicious set-pieces and pumping up the zombies from shuffling masses to screeching sprinters sets the fear and horror up to a new level.
Everyone involved gives it their all, there are plenty of very scary scenes, and it builds up fantastically to an out-and-out action-horror mash-up nightmare, including a bleak-as-F*CK end-credits sequence.
The real question is, after this and 300, what the hell happened to Zack Snyder??
Check out our previous recommendations below: