Leave it to the fine folks of Scotland to deliver a genre flavor combination that we didn’t even know we needed until we tasted it. Seeing Anna and the Apocalypse nearly a year ago at Fantastic Fest 2017 was a highlight not only of the festival but of the year as a whole. The film is a ridiculously fun blend of laughs, gore, and toe-tapping music, and while there’s no earthly reason its parts should work so damn well together they simply do. It’s funny, energetic, and more than a little bloody. And the songs… the songs! By the time the end credits roll you’ll be ready to rush out and buy the soundtrack because it’s just that good. (Which will lead to your first feeling of disappointment regarding the film as the soundtrack is not currently available.)
The film follows Anna (Ella Hunt) as a teen approaching the end of high school and her first opportunity to get out of this dead-end town. Her friend John (Malcolm Cumming) supports her decision but secretly hopes she’ll stay anyway as he’s nurturing a giant crush for her. It’s made a moot issue, though, as the next day she wakes up to find her town awash in body parts, fear, and the undead. Determined not to die in the crappy town of Little Haven, Anna and a handful of other survivors fight for the chance at reaching adulthood. Well, they fight and they sing.
But don’t take my word for its brilliance. Watch the new trailer below and take the words of the highly trustworthy critic quoted at the 1:10 mark.
Good gravy this movie is so much damn fun. As I mention in my review from last year, the film leans a bit heavier on the comedy than the horror, but it’s not shy about the red stuff. Humans and zombies alike lose limbs, organs, and blood, and some of the deaths land with surprising emotional weight. We grow to like these characters — even the “bully” shows an unexpected depth along the way — and the result is an experience that’s as affecting as it is thrilling.
Director John McPhail and writers Alan McDonald & Ryan McHenry are as assured and confident as their performers resulting in a film that shifts effortlessly between genres and from dialogue to song. It’s just a blast of Christmas joy — awash in blood and misery — and it may just find a home as one of your favorite zom-coms.
Anna and the Apocalypse sings and dances its way into theaters (and your heart) starting November 30th, 2018.
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