Sometimes a movie comes along walking the line between two genres or more. Horror comedies are not uncommon. Then there’s that rare hybrid that marries zombie horror, the Christmas season, a pint of comedy and decides it’s also going to be a musical. Can such a film make it to the big screen? The answer is yes.
Anna & The Apocalypse is the beautiful creation of director John McPhail and writers Alan McDonald and Ryan McHenry. This movie starts at Christmas, continues as a comedy, breaks into song and of course, zombies come out. It never forgets to be all of those things and still draw the audience in.
Anna (Ella Hunt) is instantly likeable. She’s got her own dreams, a loving father that she argues with a lot, friends that stand by her and her ex-boyfriend Nick (Ben Wiggins) is a bully and a dick. John (Malcolm Cumming) is Anna’s BFF, who wants to be something more to her. Steph (Sarah Swire) runs the school newspaper. All the characters you meet are instantly likeable and feel like real characters (well except the asshole school headmaster). The movie kicks up a notch as the first number starts, which is where I think a lot of the Fantasia crowd had a realization that there was going to be signing in this movie.
The singing numbers are infectious, they’re upbeat, they’ve got a lot of production backing them up and all the actors do their own singing. This where I see this movie potentially achieving cult movie status. You’ll either be awkwardly staring at everyone else or willing to join in.
The filmmakers made a wise choice in keeping the zombies completely oblivious from the singing numbers. The zombies here are mostly slow moving, although some of them may attack in quick bursts. They’re still very much zombies and this is a zombie film so don’t expect the full cast to survive.
Highly recommended because damn this movie is all sorts of awesome, but be aware that you will have to hear people sing. There are brutal moments, tender ones, funny ones, tearjerker goodbyes and everything that a zombie movie can be. The songs are all original, played loudly and that’s why this movie belongs in the big screen with a bunch of like minded people like the Fantasia crowd. It’s still very much a zombie movie, so the gore will flow.
That will do for now.