Dawn of the Dead

Director: Zach Snyder
Year Released: 2004
Rating: 1.0

A few questions that beg to be asked of all remakes are: does the remake improve upon the original? Does it modernize the (dated) original? Or, to clarify, does it alter the original's message or present the original in a different light? Since I find the original Dawn of the Dead to be not simply one of the finest horror films ever made, but one of the best films ever made, the idea to one-up Romero's vision is ill-advised: this does not make the original look worse - it makes it look infinitely better and considerably more frightening - and what's more irritating is how it is so obviously indebted to 28 Days Later (it even animates the 'zombies' in a similar way, making them look herky-jerky). This version isn't poorly made, but it isn't exciting either: the scare moments are telegraphed ahead of time and the lead characters are too bland to really care much about; further, I found the first ten minutes to be quite funny, especially with the rabid little girl and the priest that gets hit by a truck. There is a stretch towards the middle where it gets creative - there's a lounge rendition of Disturbed's "Down With the Sickness" and a Celebrity Shootout, but not enough to elevate it to 'average' status.