Saturday, June 29, 2013


With all of it's production problems, last minute script rewrites and pre-release press pegging it as a likely big-budget stinker, it was a nice surprise to see World War Z turn out so well. I haven't read Max Brooks' acclaimed source novel, and like many others I feel like the zombie genre has pretty much exhausted itself, yet World War Z works by emphasising tension over horror, and adding a couple of little twists to the way the zombies are depicted - they move en masse and fast but often in strange, jerky motions, as if they are hurling themselves against people and things, and they make disturbing squawks that reminded me of the velociraptors in Jurassic Park. They are also not the traditional gut-munching undead...they simply bite their victims to spread their infection and then move on.

The family who are at the focus of World War Z (headed by Brad Pitt) are a bit too sickly sweet for me, but the chaos and terror unfolds so quickly that it doesn't become an issue. There's a few sequences of rousing tension, a couple of genuine scares, some stunning and stark widescreen vistas and a nice, often moody, score by Marco Beltrami.

If you can imagine a coalescing of Contagion with 28 Days Later, you might have some idea of what to expect from World War Z. A sequel is inevitable (in fact, I believe Paramount have already announced they are moving ahead with one).