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Shaun and Ed confront the walking dead

Shaun of the Dead poster

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Shaun Of The Dead
 
 
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Shaun Of The Dead
cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Kate Ashfield, Dylan Moran, and Lucy Davis

director: Edgar Wright

96 minutes (15) 2004
Universal VHS rental or retail
Also available to rent or buy on DVD
[released 6 September]

RATING: 9/10
reviewed by Alasdair Stuart
A very English take on the zombie movie, few films have described themselves more perfectly. This really is a romantic comedy with zombies, combining most of the major beats of both genres into something unique, funny and remarkably dark.

Simon Pegg is Shaun, a likeable but direction-less twenty-something who is dumped by his girlfriend as, unnoticed, the country begins to sink into chaos. When he realises what's going on, he sets off with his best friend, his ex, her two flatmates and his parents for the one place he knows they'll all be safe; the pub.

Fans of Spaced will be right at home here. There's the same natural flow to the dialogue, the same visual inventiveness and the same feeling of slightly skewed normality. These all give the film its greatest strength, the sense that these really are average people trapped in a world falling apart.

zombies in the streets

This conflict between the normal and the supernatural also gives the film its best jokes and scares. In fact, the two often go hand in hand, making for some incredibly tense and wonderfully inventive moments. From the zombie boy still kicking a football to the most ill advised mobile phone call in cinema history, Shaun Of The Dead is consistently very funny but never loses sight of the horrible situation its characters are in, or how ill prepared they are for it.

Shaun and friends do zombie shuffle

As a result, there's a real emotional punch to many scenes. Shaun's efforts to save his loved ones (and his ex's flatmates) are utterly honest and desperately flawed and what happens when they start to go wrong makes for gripping and, at times, heartrending stuff. Few romantic comedies have been grimmer and few zombie movies funnier. An absolute gem, this is one of the best, and funniest, horror movies in years. See it and you'll never look at a cricket bat the same way again.
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