Union Station’s Regal Cinemas was packed on Monday night. It wasapparent that people entering the theatre were eager to see thenewest films based on the chatter and excitement in the air.Couples clung to each other in anticipation as the lights dimmedand the movie began.
Director, Jack Snyder re-envisioned “Dawn ofthe Dead,” which was originally released by George A. Romero in1979. The leading actors were Sara Polley, Ving Rhames, MekhiPhifer, and Jake Weber. It seemed difficult to distinguish the maincharacters or their significance, because there was little timespent developing each character in the plot. The bloodshed beganextremely early, followed by a series of predictable events.
The movie began with Sara Polly playing AnaClark, a naïve nurse in a hospital. She returned home to tellher husband about a patient that had been bitten that day. The nextmorning, at dawn, Sara witnessed her husband’s brutal attack by aneighbor who had become a zombie. In horror, she called 911 to savehim, but the bite he received instantly transformed him into azombie. Ana escaped from her house to seek help, but discoveredthat zombies were everywhere. Her suburban Wisconsin town was inchaos.
Sara was involved in an auto accident, whichleft her unconscious in a field. Upon regaining consciousness, sheawoke with Michael (Ving Rhames) holding her at gunpoint, fearfulthat she was a flesh-eating monster. Sara and Michael accidentallymet with Andre (Mekhi Phifer), his pregnant wife, and an electronicsalesman (Jake Weber) in a field. They hurried to a near-by mall toseek refuge.
In the mall that the group bonded andbrainstormed survival tactics. Movie gooer Terry Adams was notscared. “The zombies didn’t even look scary at all.” Adams said.”They just looked like people who had been beat up or something.”The people locked in the mall were mesmerized by the news. Theylearned that the surrounding areas of the mall lay in ruins.Several distrustful, paranoid, individuals in the group made mallconfinement difficult.
Crowds of zombies eventually arrived at themall, and the people inside fought to keep them out. The zombieswere hungry for their next human meal. Problems escalated when morerefugees entered the mall. Many of them had been bitten by zombiesprior to their entrance. At the climax of the movie, the peoplerealized that they would have to plan an escape. Kathryn Ngyuenexclaimed, “The part when they tried to leave the mall was the bestpart. I didn’t expect some of that stuff to happen.”
The reactions and comments from the audienceseemed as mixed as the movie itself.
The crowd in the theatre chuckled at the humorwoven into unconvincing killing scenes. A woman nearby was fastasleep, snoring even during the most intense portions. Some lookedbored others like Delana Martin were simply not scared. “I heardthis movie was really not scary, so I brought my eleven year olddaughter to watch it with me.”
Her daughter, Tisha looked completelyunaffected by the slaughtering of the zombies.
Laura Exton didn’t mind all the blood andgore. “Hey it was pretty good. I don’t know what category I wouldput it in because I laughed, screamed, and caught myself being alittle bored at times.” The film “Dawn of the Dead” covered severalgenres to include comedy, suspense, and romance in addition tohorror. Viewers will certainly experience a variety of emotionswhile watching.