Yesterday we picked up the DVD release of the Dawn of the Dead remake. Jonna has always liked Dawn of the Dead and spent quite a few years looking for the original on video. I had never seen any of the trilogy aside from Night of the Living Dead and while I liked that movie a lot (both the original and the later remake) I didn’t even know that the movie was part of a trilogy until Jonna told me that there were other movies.
When the remake was released to theaters, we went to see it and I really liked it. Normally I don’t like remakes. Something is always missing from the later remake that causes it to never live up to the original. The remake of Psycho is a really good example of this. They shot the script practically word for word and scene for scene, but there was something missing from the remake that made the movie seem “empty” or plastic.
For some reason though, George Romero movies seem to be really good candidates for remakes. I really enjoyed the remakes of Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. I highly recommend you go and rent (or even buy) these two if you liked the originals.
The original Dawn of the Dead, for me, was difficult to watch. The ideas were all really good (and lets be honest, just the idea of living in a mall is pretty cool) but the movie moved very slowly and you didn’t really care about the characters very much. The dialogue, for the most part, just sucked and was very cheesy. Throughout the movie you wound up wondering to yourself just how long they could possibly drag it out, while thinking to yourself how cool the ideas were and what a cool movie they could have made.
The remake does a lot with the ideas of the original movie and make them into a great story. The characters are developed very well and the addition of the “Andy” character and subplot was a really cool addition to the movie that gave you a character that you actually liked and cared about what happened to him, even though you rarely saw him — and when you did it was from a great distance.
I don’t want to give away too much of the movie, so I’ll stop there. However, I will advise you to not turn off the movie when the ending credits begin rolling. When we saw it in the theater we watched as people left as soon as the credits started. We hung around to get the final payoff of the movie, so stick through the credits.
The DVD release also includes a lot of pretty good extras, including “Splitting Headaches: Anatomy of Exploding Heads” and “Raising the Dead”, a look at the zombie effects used in the movie.
I give this release 4 stars. I really like the movie a lot and highly recommend it for your Halloween viewing.