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31 Days of Horror: WORLD WAR Z

Source: MsMagazine.com

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War is a seminal work within the zombie mythology. Max Brook’s 2006 novel took the apocalyptic scenario of a virulent zombie disease and examined it within a political and socioeconomic lens, using the format of oral post-war accounts of the environmental and social toll taken around the world.

The novel was certainly unique for its time and remains so for its consideration of factors often not taken into account by zombie fiction, in particular, its global perspective. As it goes with many adaptations of books into films, fans of the original will insist on its superiority. World War Z may not be the best possible adaptation of the novel to film, but nonetheless it’s a worthy addition to zombie lore.

Story

World War Z is basically an adaptation of the original novel in name only. There’s an employee of the U.N., zombies, and that’s about it.  WWZ is not set post-war, but starts nearly at the beginning of the outbreak, as former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane and his family narrowly escape a hoard of rabid zombies in Philadelphia.

The movie then follows Gerry as he’s coerced into joining a military unit with the goal to find a possible cure for the epidemic. He eventually makes it to Israel, where the government has managed to hold off the zombie outbreak . From there the clues fall into place and provide a cool take on the cure for the undead plague.

Despite the major change in plot, WWZ is still a thrilling zombie flick. It’s got all the staples of the genre while moving the pieces in just such a way as to make for something different, interesting, and scary. That itself is a cut above most zombie movies. There’s also shades of political commentary in the opening credits of the film, drawing parallels between the zombie pandemic and global warming.

Gores & Scares

Despite the main antagonist being a hoard of man eaters, the movie is surprisingly light on gore. What’s there is absolutely delicious though, an incredibly satisfying ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it’ type of blood splatter.  More than straight up flesh-rending, the zombies’ main weapon is sheer brute force impact. The creatures act less as individuals and more as a thundering tidal wave. This is the real horror of the fast-moving, rabid zombie–an unstoppable, unthinking, indifferent force. This is zombies as metaphor for natural disasters.

This type of zombie makes for some amazing scenes, especially in Israel. There’s also fantastically tense moments though, ramping up the psychological horror in the quieter moments. WWZ maintains a steady beat for scares that’s hard not to appreciate.

Overall

Book loyalists have and will continue to snub the World War Z movie adaptation. It’s understandable, though, if you were expecting something more in the vein of a documentary, and it is disappointing that we probably won’t get that.

For general zombie fans, WWZ is one of the best genre flicks to come around in a long time. It’s rock solid, with great scares and a good cast to support the real stars: the zombie plague.

4 out of 5 stars

4 out of 5 stars

 

 

 

Featured Image Source: MsMagazine.com

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Categories: Movie Reviews

Author:Rito

Professional grump. Writes media criticism at WURRWALF.net. Whines on Twitter a lot. Likes rice.

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One Comment on “31 Days of Horror: WORLD WAR Z”

  1. 10/17/2014 at 6:48 PM #

    I was expecting to dislike World War Z because they didn’t follow the book (or so I’d heard) and made it more like a Hollywood show. I had forgotten that Hollywood never really let me down with big-production zombie flicks XD I really loved World War Z. So much fun (and I watched it just a few days ago!)

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