George Romero's Dawn of the Dead received the remake treatment in 2004 courtesy of Zach Snyder. Snyder uses Romero's original source material and gave it new life. The re-imaging of Romero's classic zombie flick is now filled with gore, creepy scenes and an over-the-top storyline. Unfortunately, some of the plot devices lessen the overall impact of the horror film.
Dawn of the Dead begins with an action packed sequence that takes place in what should be the calm and quiet suburbs. Sarah Polley's character is brutally attacked by her neighbors. As she tries to flee her home, the flesh eaters are seen running rampant. Her escape eventually leads her to a mall that contains other survivors. Unfortunately not all of the survivors are the most upstanding people. This leads to conflict and other dangerous situations.
This zombie flick is filled with action and gore. One of the more disturbing scenes involves the birth of baby, whose mother is infected with whatever is turning people into zombies. This scene is disturbing and is seems like it was included for shock value purposes more than anything else. While some find the scene amusing, it adds absolutely nothing to the storyline other than making the viewer feel uncomfortable.
Does Dawn of the Dead surpass the remake? Yes and no. Yes, it surpasses the original because it makes the viewer feel completely hopeless. There is no chance for humanity. Even though there are survivors, those few do not infuse a sense of hope. The film does not surpass the original in the sense that the film somewhat drags. Watching the film raised so many questions that were not answered. When an outbreak of epic proportions occurs, explanations and details are important. If details are omitted, then the plot loses effectiveness.
Snyder did an excellent job at showing how some people might act during a disaster situation. It was interesting to see that even though the world is in total chaos, that people are still selfish and dangerous. The people who are trapped in the mall are as dangerous to one another as the zombies are to them.
While the remake does have some interesting scenes and creative zombie attacks, the original is still a superior film. Fans of the zombie genre should watch this updated version though because it is fascinating to see another director's vision. If the film did not drag in certain areas, the overall film quality would have been greatly improved.
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