‘Shaun of the Dead’ (2004) Review

Stuck in a bit of a life rut, Shaun is dealing with a dead-end job, an unhappy girlfriend and a lazy loser of a best friend. Just when Shaun decides he wants to get his life together and win back his girlfriend, a zombie apocalypse overwhelms London.

I have been wanting to watch this one for a long time. I adore Simon Pegg (Shaun) and Nick Frost (Ed) and love both Hot Fuzz and The World’s EndShaun of the Dead has been on my watch list for years but every time I plan to watch it, something happens or honestly, I just forgot. But anyway! I’m glad I finally got around to seeing this because it was fantastic. Watching Shaun wander aimlessly through the day while a zombie apocalypse is taking over London was a treat. Shaun notices a few strange things here or there, but his disinterest in the news and the world around him sets him up for a bit of trouble when he’s one of the last few on Earth to grasp the fact that the dead are coming back to life, and they’re hungry.

Writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (who also directed) balanced the mixtures of genres so effortlessly. All I hear is Stefan from SNL (played by Bill Hader) in my head saying… “This movie has everything… horror, romance, comedy, social commentary… dramaaaaa….” You wouldn’t expect a zombie rom-com to make you want to shed a few years, but it truly does. The emotional moments may be rare, but they happen, they certainly pack a punch.

On the romantic side of things, Shaun’s girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) feels as though they’re stuck in a rut. They go to the same bar every night and she feels caught up in Shaun’s aimlessness. Shaun wants to change but finds it difficult, leading to Liz breaking up with him. What can relight a relationship’s spark? The annihilation of all humankind! Shaun is desperate to save Liz after realizing what’s happening and with the audience, Liz begins to see Shaun as an unlikely hero.

Most of the movie’s laugh out loud humor comes from Nick Frost. His character Ed is very content with being a moocher, finding humor in every situation, even the life or death ones. His chemistry with Simon Pegg is unmatched and even if Shaun hadn’t had a girlfriend in this movie, I would have still considered it a romantic comedy…. just bromantic instead of romantic. So between Ed and Shaun and Liz and Shaun, you really get the best of both worlds.

Shaun of the Dead is a biting satire of society, giving it a hell of a lot more depth than a lot of other braindead movies in the genre. It’s also witty and gory and fun as hell. Those Brits really know how to make a comedy and I can completely understand why Shaun of the Dead has such a loyal fanbase. This is a must watch for an fan of, well, most genres.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."