Brilliant. Easily one of the funniest movies I've ever seen.
[8.3/10] Zombie movies have a long history of social commentary and symbolism. Auteurs like George Romero have used the undead to represent prejudice, consumerism, blind loyalty, and scads of other social ills made manifest in horrific terms. That’s one of the features of this particular subgenre -- the concept of brainless, shambling former humans is malleable enough to fit around any number of concepts and themes.
In Shaun of the Dead Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg use it for something much more mundane -- the layabout manchild who’s failed to launch. For once the hordes of reanimated corpses are less about some wide-ranging societal malady, and more about one dude who needs the zombie apocalypse to prompt him to “sort his life out.” It’s subtle, but the movie kicks off with the idea that Shaun is no better than the living dead he’ll eventually do battle with, having failed to advance his life, work, or motivation to where he’s stuck in the same rut at 29 that he was at 12.
That conceit is part of the brilliance of Shaun of the Dead, which comes from the way it so perfectly walks the line between loving homage to the zombie films of old, ridiculous comedy amid a ridiculous setup, and surprisingly potent character drama about one man coming of age late in the day but just in time. It juggles these competing demands nigh-perfectly, with Wright and Pegg putting together an astonishingly well-tuned film that manages thrills, laughs, poignance, and most of all tone along a viscera-draped tightrope.
It works on all counts. Fans of the classic undead flicks will chuckle and cheer with recognition when one of the characters declares “We’re coming to get you, Barbara” or when a pest of a survivor is pulled out of a window a la Day of the Dead. The approach here presages Community’s stellar genre parodies, where there is so much loving attention to detail that it bolsters both the times when the film wants to play the familiar story beats safe and when it wants to poke fun at them.
That knowing approach to the “zomcom” works like gangbusters. Shaun and Ed’s reluctance to use “the z-word” is a fun meta-gag about how rarely the famed designation is actually spoken aloud in zombie movies. The invocation of common tropes like the survivor who tries to hide that they’ve been bit, the group having to pretend they’re zombies to avoid detection, or a character having to face down an undead version of a loved one is played for both laughs and pathos. This is clearly a movie whose creatives are deeply familiar with the genre they’re spoofing, paying tribute to, and using for compelling character beats, which is what allows them to mix and match those moods so deftly.
At the same time, Pegg and Wright are not afraid to get downright goofy with the proceedings. Watching Shaun and Ed ineffectively toss household detritus at a pair of walkers while arguing over which records to use as ammo is a big laugh. Their crew whacking at an advancing attacker to the beat of a Queen song is delightfully silly. And the life and death stakes of the scenario don’t stop the main character or his pals from dropping wry bits of gallows humor or loopy routines in between encounters with the flesh-eating monsters.Of course, this is an Edgar Wright movie, so the script plays out like clockwork. Brief mentions of Di as a “failed actress” come back into play when she has to coach up the survivors to act like zombies. A hinted at but unseen skirmish in the second act comes back in a big way in the third act. Video game terminology turns into vital (and amusing) real world strategy. Off-hand quips pre-outbreak become meaningful portents once the undead invasion is in full swing. Wright is the king of setup and payoff, so there’s hardly a stray comment or visual framing that doesn't come back with a twist or an echo or an extra laugh down the line.
Wright’s also a superb sculptor of sequences and images. Some of them are flashy, like a neat shot of our heroes through the hollowed-out hole in a zombie torso, but some are more subtle, like a tableau of the survivors in the Winchester that positions everyone neatly in the frame. He and his team do well to establish long, well-blocked shots of Shaun going about his daily life, only to mirror and recontextualize those scenes once the extras of his routine have turned into zombies. And as with everything in this film, Wright and company are able to walk the line between humor and excitement with the action scenes, evoking some genuine terror when the biters advance on the survivors and our heroes fight back, but also leaning into the lunacy of a random London schlub wacking at corpses with a cricket bat.
But so much of that excellent attention to detail comes back around when Shaun of the Dead wants to play things seriously and isn’t just having a laugh. Barbara’s mantra that she “doesn't want to make a fuss” becomes much more meaningful after she’s hiding a zombie bite and Shaun has to contend with the reality that his mom’s going to die. A running gag where Shaun replies to any invocation of his stepfather, Philip, with a retort of “he’s not my dad,” takes on new, poignant meaning after Philip’s dying declaration of love before succumbing to the zombie virus. Pegg and Wright use their call and response, and their tightly-honed scene construction, to pay homage to George Romero’s filmography and to craft their own silly sequences, but they also use it for genuine pathos, for affecting drama, and most importantly, for character growth.
That puts Shaun of the Dead in line with so many of its undead flick forebears that the movie pokes fun at and pays tribute to. These movies lured audiences in with the prospect of monster mash horror, but lingered in people’s memories because of vivid characters and because of a social subtext reflected in all those shuffling corpses. This movie will absolutely work for anyone just wanting a good time involving ample chuckles and some zombified comic adventures.
But it also uses the oncoming zombie apocalypse as a metaphor for Shaun waking up and growing up. The key scene of the film comes when Philip tells Shaun that he always thought Shaun had it in him to do great things; he just needed the right motivation. There’s comic irony to the fact that this motivating turning point happens to be the reanimation of corpses from the grave, but Wright and Pegg don’t skimp on using that fact to tickle the audience’s funny bone at the same time they cannily show a slacker manchild growing up in real time beneath a blood-spattered cricket bat.
In an ideal world, none of us would need a zombie uprising to take the initiative and turn around our lives. But Shaun of the Dead has its title character accept adulthood in all that mandibular mania -- reckoning with his best friend, having to say goodbye to his parents, and becoming a true and reliable partner to the woman he loves. Few coming of age stories, if any others at all, pay such brilliant homage to classic horror films, elicit such genuine laughs from blood-spattered slapstick, or make the human drama so real and even moving. And yet for this shuffling subgenre, the approach and success are remarkably true-to-form.
7.5it made me laugh, but some jokes didn't hold through time
Just Hilarious Zombie Comedy DramaThis is so hilarious from the start cracking lots of jokes about how to overcome the Zombie Apocalypse that they are facing.
Very entertaining and fun, with some fantastic directing and camerawork (really love the attention to detail in those two long takes of Simon Pegg walking to the supermarket).Great characters, good soundtrack and score, funny (few minor misses with the jokes for me); just really well done all around. Its biggest problem is clearly the ending: everything wraps up so abruptly and conveniently, it’s almost like Edgar Wright ran out of budget and had to come up with an ending on the fly.
I don't know how many times I have watched this. It's pretty enjoyable every time!
Shaun of the Dead is easily one of the best horror comedies ever made. Edgar Wright's parody of Zombie films is enjoyable for zombie film fans but also comedy fans as well. The characters are great with everyone delivering consistent laughs and Wright somehow managed to turn Simon Pegg into a badass and make it believable. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost could easily be the best pairing in any comedy film and there is a reason they appear together so often.
Terrible Movie, Weak Sauce :( the ending was unrealistic and impossible, and the main characters a bunch of idiots, it's as if the writers were afraid of making a movie with too much gore, seriously, at one time they were like 6 against one zombie and they couldn't do shit. And it's not like they don't have the budget, the movie was based on about the same budget that AMC uses for one episode of the walking dead. I seriously don't get what's wrong with the idiots at Rotten Tomatoes who gave it such good reviews giving it a final rating of 93%. I guess I am very disappointed because I watched the Cornetto Trilogy in reverse, I loved The World's End and gave it a 10, and I also loved Hot Fuzz and also gave it a 10.
Best zombie movie ever .
I finally saw this!I guess everything has been already said about it. Brilliant comedy! Probably one the best zombie films I've ever seen!
One of my favorite horror comedies of all time. Bonus points for being about zombies.
this is what EVERY other zombie comedy ever is missing: a scene where the characters beat a zombie to death with pool sticks in-sync to queen's "don't stop me now"
A goddamn masterpiece with no extra fat, everything has a pay off and will never be topped.
Just watched this for the second time, and boy what a classic British comedy. If anything I look back and wonder why it’s taken so long to get back to this movie.
Good monster movies often serve as a metaphor for one pressing social issue or another, and this bloody, hilarious mid-aughts zombie-stomper is no exception. Where Godzilla grappled with post-war Japan's fear of being overshadowed by the west, where Dawn of the Dead bemoaned America's quick slide into faceless consumerism, Shaun tackles the existential gloom of an early adulthood reality check. From the resigned obligation of clocking in at work to the sad discovery that a long relationship persists only for convenience, the painful need to kick a lazy best friend in the ass to the dawning realization that one's parents won't be around forever, it pretty well covers the full gamut of post-college worry. That's some hefty emotional weight for a screwball comedy, but the near-constant presence of chunky, scarlet-drenched zombie wanderers and snappy, life-or-death decisions give us just enough distraction to avoid getting tangled up in all the malaise and self-loathing.
We're also granted frequent opportunity to laugh until our sides hurt. Shaun represents something of a long-form reunion vehicle for the short-lived (but well-loved) British TV sitcom Spaced, with several actors and creatives happily (if, sometimes, only fleetingly) reunited on the big screen. The film's flippant, sarcastic tone is a perfect successor to that two-season series; clever and witty, replete with effective callbacks and natural, unpredictable setups; gleefully subverting a well-recognized genre while also celebrating it. The casual humor clicks immediately, aided at all the right times by a marvelous, memorable rock soundtrack, while the heartier stuff takes a bit longer to settle but, eventually, swings with just as much force. This is one of my all-timers.
10 - Totally ninja
A romantic comedy, with zombies. The movie keeps the suspense and the action all with great performances.
Has it's frustrating moments, but it's definitely a movie I can watch again anytime.
BEST OF ALL ZOMBIE MOVIES!!!!
One of the funniest movies ever!
Maybe the best zombie movie ive ever seen!
Not very often you find a good zombie movie with a large amount of humor in it. Awesome movie!
My favorite comedy of all time. Never get tired of it.
Shaun of the Dead was pretty funny. Nick Frost's and Dylan Moran's characters were just the worst though. I really hope I don't have to hate the former as much in the other two Cornetto movies. The editing was brilliant. I guess it's the best zombie movie I've seen but zombie movies suck so that's really not saying much.
When this came out it was a gamechanger. Now it's showing some creaks because the films that followed were such high quality.
Now I have seen this film about a dozen times as it is in heavy rotation on TV. I have seen the final hour many, many times more than the first 30 minutes. And that final hour is largely brilliant.
The budget is small and it shows. The script is clever and the direction is innovative but it was mastered in Hot Fuzz and World's End.
Based on being so familiar with the film and knowing what came after, I have to say this isn't aging as well as I'd hoped.
Could watch this movie thousands of time and never get bored.
The perfect blend of comedy and horror. Can't think of any other work that works as well mixing those two genres. The actors are great, and the script is genuinely funny. Director Edgar Wright together with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost makes excellent movies. Highly recommended viewing!!!
This would bed one of my desert island movies
Had a few laughs but overall disappointed
In my opinion, this is the weakest movie in the Cornetto Trilogy.
Hot fuzz > The world's end > Shaun of the dead.
I give it a 6/10
I love Edgar Wright. My fiancée hates this movie and Hot Fuzz. Fantastic. Will hold up forever. "You know what we should do tomorrow? Keep drinking."
Honestly not as funny as I remembered, but still a solid action-comedy and refreshing take of zombie apocalypse movies. Full or references but not necessarily a genre parody, it actually manages to add a more modern touch to Romero’s social allegory (Shaun is initially completely unable to distinguish zombies from humans). Edgar Wright’s visual comedy style is already recognizable here, but, as with most goody British comedies, the verbal jokes tend to be hit and miss. Unfortunately, the ending falls a bit flat and eventually fails to live up to the expectations.
Well, I looked and I can say one thing - "not bad." There were some good jokes in the film, a few "boo" moments (something like screamers) and a few dramatic moments, not bad, but there is one problem, the moments of the film from about 40 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes are clearly worse than the first 40 minutes and the last 30 minutes, so 6/10, but for the sake of truth, I can't say I'm disappointed, this movie is kind of a one-time attraction.
If this doesn't make you laugh....then you're a frickin ZOMBIE :joy::joy::joy:CHEERS:beers::tumbler_glass::cocktail::tropical_drink::beer:
Edgar Wright is a big smart man
Very clever and funny. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright together make a great movie.
Entertaining movie about zombies with good cast and funny to watch. 7.3/10
Brought to this movie because of this [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FOzD4Sfgag] excellent video by Every Frame a Painting on the visual comedy of Edgar Wright (as discovered he's the man behind one of my all times favorite movies, Scott Pilgrim vs The World). This movie is not as nice but it definitely has the signature directing/editing, and I enjoyed it quite a lot just because of that :)
Second time watching. Giggles and laughs galore, just don't expect too much. Take it for what it is, an hour and forty minutes of chilling out.
parts of Edgar Wright's "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy."
Funny but IMHO nothing outstanding (as a lot of people claim!).
They spelled Sean wrong but other than that it's pretty good
"Get f*cked, four-eyes" An epic moment! :)
An okay movie.I don't think i'm gonna see it again.