It’s pretty common to argue that zombies are played out, culturally speaking, especially in the movies. Over the last few years there have been literally hundreds of zombies movies, to the point where Plan 9 From Outer Space is getting a remake. But World War Z is a very different kind of zombie movie, largely thanks to the sheer scale of the production, and it might just pay off.
This is largely thanks to the budget: Most zombie movies are cheap, but World War Z is taking its title literally, and as a result, things are different.
It’s Not A Siege Film
Zombie movies have, pretty much from the start, been siege movies. That’s the entire idea; you’re in a house, or a mall, or a military base, or a pub, and the humans try to keep the zombies out while waiting for a military response or rescue while the zombies try to burst in.
This is pretty much every single zombie movie, partially because limited locations mean lower budgets. Heck, this is quite a few zombie video games and novels, into the bargain; it’s not a terribly mobile genre. Just the fact that this movie changes locations a few times is a welcome switch.
It Can Show Society Actually Crumbling
Your average zombie movie largely implies the destruction of human society; we don’t see buildings falling and societies eaten by the dead, as a rule, but only a section of it, usually a small piece. Zombie movies vary in how well they pull off hinting at the destruction, but here we can actually see it in action. And we have to admit, we’re kind of looking forward to it.
There Are Actual Zombie Hordes
Yes, the CGI zombies are a… controversial choice, but go back, watch your average zombie movie, and you’ll notice that the hordes of zombies we normally see are reserved for a handful of shots. The rest of the time, it’s five guys in makeup. This is partially thanks to logistical and budget concerns, but the net result is that we don’t see the kind of damage a horde of thousands or even millions of creatures who can feel no pain and take scary amounts of damage can do.
We’ve never seen a wave of zombies pull down a helicopter or crush a wall before, and it’ll bring something different to the genre.
There’s The Money For Some Truly Impressive Action Scenes
Not to put too fine a point on it, but most zombie movies aren’t about the asskicking. Squibs and makeup effects are expensive, so most zombie movies save them for the finale, with the net result being what TV Trops so aptly sums up as “Twenty Minutes With Jerks”. This, on the other hand, is following a coordinated, well-funded, and bullet-heavy military response. In other words, lots and lots of zombie violence.
So we’ll be curious to see what’s what come Friday; expect a full review Friday afternoon.