Film Review: Shaun of the Dead

By: Joe Giesta

When one thinks of flesh-eating zombies, your brain wouldn’t assume a buddy comedy that works as a romantic comedy with a redemption story angle.  But you’d be wrong because the horror genre staple of the undead with a twist works with great success. 

Shaun of the Dead, released in September 2004, was a fresh and unique film from director Edgar Wright. It has become a cult classic due to its hilariously fresh take on the zombie genre and due to its two lead characters, Shaun (Simon Pegg) and Ed (Nick Frost) who offer laughs, tears and moments of triumph that will make the viewers instantly care for our two losers who become two unlikely heroes.

Shaun is a relatable character in many ways. He is an ordinary everyday guy who works a mundane job at an electronics store and likes to hang out with his best friend and roommate, Ed. Most of their time consists of drinking and playing video games. His one fundamental problem that leads to his breakup with his girlfriend Liz, is Shaun’s inability to grow and grow up. He’s too preoccupied hanging out with Ed instead of working on his relationship with Liz. 

However, a zombie apocalypse might have been exactly what Shaun needed in order to change. This end of the world scenario leads to an unlikely redemption journey that Shaun embarks on in order to win back Liz. 

Once the flesh-eating starts, one standout scene happens quite early. Shaun and Ed are oblivious to their first encounter with the undead and believe that the first zombie is simply a drunk woman. This sequence is hilarious and eventually, they realize something is clearly wrong. They resort to using vinyl records as weapons which results in the fantastic banter between the two characters in deciding which record to keep or throw. After the encounter, the two formulate a plan which consists of saving Liz and Shaun’s family. 

In the near 15 years since the movie was released, Shaun of the Dead remains a great film and a perfect option to watch this Halloween.

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