Like many other fans I have a complicated history with this movie. On one hand it feels like it is kind of making fun of the subgenre of horror (zombies) that I love so much. But on the other hand, I also understand that this was a natural reaction to the glut of zombie movies, books, and television shows that were everywhere. I mean suddenly zombies went from niche to mainstream, so this was bound to happen. Plus, the movie itself is sort of harmless fun, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Let me begin by addressing some of the issues that I know fans have with the movie. First, we have the rules and more importantly the breaking of the fourth wall when Columbus speaks directly to the audience to explain them. I think that annoys genre fans because it can feel like the rules kind of make fun of the tropes of the genre and they aren’t wrong. But as I mentioned earlier there were so many of these movies and shows coming out that it became very predictable how they were going to play out. If you look at pop culture when something is this popular it is going to get parodied. In many ways that is what Zombieland is, a parody of the genre.
Bottom line for me is that you get some zombies, a little bit of gore, some funny jokes, and can turn your brain off for a couple of hours. Not every horror movie needs to be serious or groundbreaking. Some can just be harmless and silly fun. This is exactly what Zombieland is trying to be and I think it succeeds. I recommend it.
© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer