Dir. Ruben Fleischer (2009)
With the entire country world overrun by zombies, a group of survivors seek to survive long enough to reach a West Coast amusement park.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Zombieland quickly became a cult classic, drawing fans from all around the world, and I have to be honest: I avoided watching this one for years because I thought it looked dumb as hell. Now, this wasn’t my first watch, because I wised up a couple of years ago, and I was dead wrong about what this movie was. Zombieland is fucking awesome, and an entertaining and humorous take on the zombie apocalypse. It’s legitimately funny and extremely clever, taking a unique look at a genre that has so often felt played out. It’s also a movie with a style all its own, pushing graphics onto the screen to outline the rules of the new world to often-hilarious effect.
Rule 3: Beware of Bathrooms.
The cast is stellar, with four Oscar nominees in the main roles: Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messengers), Jessie Eisenberg (The Social Network), Abigail Bresnan (Little Miss Sunshine), and Emma Stone (who won for La La Land). The direction is flawless, making what is probably the quintessential action comedy zombie film. Absolutely none of this movie is boring, because the pace delivers near constant excitement or entertainment. It is a masterclass in creating a film that turns a genre on its head without rewriting rules, all the while receiving such approval from the audience that they demanded a sequel. Which was eventually made and we’ll get to one of these days.
Rule 2: Double Tap.
It’s a great movie for Halloween because it’s not overly raunchy comedy, it’s got some great gore (though critics rightly point out that almost all of it is CGI), and it’s a wildly entertaining film. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s fun for the whole family, but it’s certainly fit for teens, so if you want to get your relative-young’ns to check out a movie with you, this wouldn’t be a bad one to choose. Harrelson is brilliant in one of his best roles, Eisenberg is great and neurotic as always, and Emma Stone is fucking delightful. For an erstwhile horror movie, it’s got about the best cast you can find, and it’s absolutely worth a watch.
Rule 7: Be a Hero.
Who this movie is for: Horror comedy fans; Zombie lovers; Twinkie enthusiasts
Bottom line: Zombieland is a cult classic horror comedy that is absolutely not to be missed. It’s got fantastic acting top to bottom, including an excellent cameo by Bill Murray, and it’s one of the best paced of these types of movies around. It’s absolutely worth adding to your Halloween playlist, and it’s one that doesn’t lose the laughs on a rewatch. Check it out.