Film review: Shaun of the Dead

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Shaun of the Dead

Having been chewed up and spat out by London twice in my life, there’s nothing I like more than having a good laugh at the London slacker stereotype who spends his days down the pub. And before everyone starts groaning and feasting on flesh, the scenes where Shaun (Simon Pegg) goes about his normal routine are some of the best in this very funny ‘romantic comedy, with zombies’.

In fact, apart from the flesh-eating, the film makes plain there’s very little difference between your average Londoner going to work and a flesh-eating zombie. Shaun spends his days in a crap job, on the couch playing video games or down the pub with his disgusting mate Ed (Nick Frost), and it’s only a plague of animated dead people that gets him up off the couch to save his Mum and his recently-ex girlfriend. They’re joined by the excellent Dylan Moran Of TV’s Black Books playing an annoying yuppie and Lucy Davis of The Office as his ‘failed actress’ girlfriend.

I’ve seen many a horror film in my time (especially in my early twenties when I was seeing a very innocent-looking blonde who in fact had a strange obsession with gory horror videos that I never questioned at the time), but there was one scene in particular where my stomach turned over, and if I was a kid I’m sure would haunt me for years. It seems strange how this film gets an MA rating, but a bit of sex tips a film into R territory—but that’s a whole other subject.

It’s good to see some well-made English comedy making it to the big screen and while the film is a bit of a one-joke affair, it’s so well made that as much as possible is squeezed out of that joke. Thanks to a tight script, imaginative direction and good acting, Shaun of the Dead even manages to wring out a little social comment, pathos and real horror as well.

Three and a half darts out of five.

Myst IV

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