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Comedy and horror morph together in Zombieland

Posted By Alex Frail On October 21, 2009 @ 3:38 am In Arts and Entertainment | Comments Disabled

I love horror movies. Or rather, I love good horror movies, the ones made over 30 years ago in the days of The Shining.

I also love comedies. Can you think of another feeling better than laughing so hard your gut hurts?
Hollywood’s given us a handful of memorable flicks in both genres recently, but in Zombieland, they kill two birds with one stone.

Jesse Eisenberg, star of last year’s painfully underrated Adventureland, leads an A-list cast, including Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, and the gun-toting 12-year-old Abigail Breslin.

Eisenberg’s quirky, awkward style may remind you of Michael Cera, but he makes it entirely his own.

Eisenberg plays Columbus, our unlikely hero on a mission to find out if his parents have survived the zombie apocalypse.

Columbus supplies a list of rules for surviving Zombieland, a recurring motif throughout the film. After surviving several zombie attacks, he meets Tallahassee.

Woody Harrelson plays Tallahasseecx, a professional zombie killer on a desperate mission to devour every Twinkie left on earth.

A massive asset to the film, Harrelson portrays a memorable funnyman with creative ways of slaughtering zombies and a dark, somber past that adds great depth to the story.

The dialogue is smart, the action is dazzling, the characters are real, and the ending is touching.

The two survivors travel cross-country to find any other survivors of the apocalypse, exchanging humorous banter along the way.

Adding to the fun are Stone and Breslin, who, play the sisters Wichita and Little Rock, respectively. They play bright conwomen who can outthink anyone.

Even when Zombieland morphs into a horror movie, the actors find a way to make you chuckle. The film is chock-full of motifs, all of which arise with pristine timing during suspenseful moments.

While Columbus’s “survival rules quickly grow irritating, before you’re ready to pull your hair out though, the script intelligently ends the motif, leaving room for the funnier gags.

The silly lines will always stick out, for instance when Tallahassee declares, “It’s time to nut up, or shut up, but Zombieland remains surprisingly suspenseful; I found myself on the edge of my seat more than once.

The reason I loved Zombieland so much was the way it seamlessly flowed from horror to comedy to drama. The script is wisely crafted to avoid, any cheesiness or astonishingly boring moments, both parodying its laughable predecessors, and providing nail biting moments of its own that are executed wonderfully.

The back stories of each character are revealed in small doses. Each character has some loss they are dealing with, a cliché that moviemakers seem to thrive upon lately.

That’s the only problem I really have with Zombieland. But hey, in an apocalypse, who doesn’t have a problem?
Last word of advice: don’t see Zombieland if you’re queasy. It may be funny, but there’s still that bloody gore no horror movie can do without.

The dialogue is smart, the action is dazzling, the characters are real, and the ending is touching.

Zombieland is a great movie with stellar actors, and you’ll have one heck of a time watching it. ‘ËœNuff said.

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[1] Despite stellar cast, Burn After Reading goes up in flames: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/09/24/despite-stellar-cast-burn-after-reading-goes-up-in-flames/

[2] Wild Things not wild enough even for its youngest audience: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/11/25/wild-things-not-wild-enough-even-for-its-youngest-audience/

[3] Films of 2008: A restrospective look at this year’s best: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/12/17/films-of-2008-a-restrospective-look-at-this-year%e2%80%99s-best/

[4] Max Payne movie rendition leaves audiences in the dark: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2008/10/29/max-payne-movie-rendition-leaves-audiences-in-the-dark/

[5] Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine: http://www.denebolaonline.net/2009/05/13/movie-review-x-men-origins-wolverine/

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