Saturday, October 6, 2018

31 Days of Dread--Day 6

Zombieland; 2010; written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; directed by Ruben Fleischer

The moment Jesse Eisenberg wistfully begins explaining that the #1 rule of surviving a zombie apocalypse is "cardio" (along with "beware of bathrooms," "limber up" and "double tap," among many others) it's pretty much clear this is a guy--and film--we're going to like.

Eisenberg plays a wryly self-aware nerd who's finally getting himself together as the world falls apart around him. Woody Harrelson provides the perfect foil, a good ole' boy with equal parts kick-ass menace and aw-shucks charisma. Emma Stone and Abigail Breslin round out the cast as two savvy sisters who first high-jack, then join, the road trip across a ruined Southwest in search of Twinkies and an amusement park named Playland, where Stone promises her younger sister there are no zombies. But of course, there are.

The relentlessly clever script is matched by equally energetic direction and performances. It's a trip you won't mind taking more than once. The first time for all the surface laughs and jump scares (and there are plenty of both), then again for all the smart details and witty asides.

Zombieland is available for streaming rental.

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