Written by John Scott 3
Directed by Henry Hobson
2015 - Lionsgate
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin. Joely Richardson.
Eclectic Rating: stars
This slow moving but touching twist on the zombie theme follows a father, Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and his infected daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) as her zombie virus progresses.
It's not really a straight horror film, but there's no Horror-Drama category I can file it under.
Schwarzenegger has always been a favorite of mine, since the Conan days. He's just a huge presence, and doesn't even need to say much to make an impact in a scene, but when he does his accent makes his delivery that much better.
That accent can make him seem menacing, as in The Terminator, but in the case of Maggie his Austrian accent gives his character a humble, honest quality. That works in this scenario.
Abigail Breslin started her film career in 2002, at the age of 6, as Bo Hess in the film Signs with Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix. Subsequent work includes spots on TV shows like Law & Order: SVU, NCIS and Grey's Anatomy, as well as films Little Miss Sunshine, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, Zombieland.
This is not a zombie horror film with marauding brain eaters, it is a dramatic film in which the zombie virus is seen as a terminal illness, with a family doctor monitoring the rate of progression in order to determine the best time to move the girl into quarantine.
There are a few zombie attack scenes that may be more familiar to some genre buffs, but the general theme is the progression of this virus in Maggie and when she will ultimately become a full-blown, flesh eating zombie with no awareness of her loved ones.
Maggie and her father do not want to resort to quarantine and would prefer her to live out her remaining time at home in peace. Her demise is inevitable and Wade must decide when and how to ultimately deal with the unthinkable.
The film has an independent vibe to it, with a sountrack that stirs chilling suspense and horror one moment then seamlessly drifts into softer heartwarming strains the next. The film is mastered in a dark, gritty color which supports the overall troubling mood.
It is a slow mover for sure. You can easily watch this while doing some work in the kitchen or other tasks that allow you to monitor the story without becoming too bored. I bet they could have told this story in less than an hour and thirty-five.
Slow and potentially boring aside I think the film is well done and deserves a little credit. Not an epic experience by any means, and with a different cast it wouldn't have worked, but somehow Schwarzenegger is able to convey the deep dispair his character must be feeling.
Some reviewers complained about the ending, considering it a let down. I didn't feel that way. Watch for yourself and see what you think, don't let others make your opinion for you.
I'll give it three stars.
Find Maggie at Amazon.com (paid link)
Watch Maggie on Netflix.More about Maggie at IMDb.com
Last Update: 09 May, 2019