First-time director Zack Snyder remakes zombie master George A. Romero's classic 1978 gore-fest DAWN OF THE DEAD, wisely replicating only the basic elements of Romero's movie, instead sticking to his own vision of a world overrun by undead flesh-eating creatures. The action begins with nurse Ana (Sarah Polley) waking up to discover her boyfriend has become a tasty midnight snack for a formerly cute neighboring kid. To her horror, she realizes that the whole town is in a similar state of ghoulishness, until she runs into still-alive cop Kenneth (Ving Rhames); the levelheaded Michael (Jack Weber); and Andre (Mekhi Phifer), a rebel with a pregnant wife in tow. As in Romero's original, the group heads for the local mall where they barricade themselves inside. More survivors surface, while in the outside world the zombies go about their day by slowly taking over the planet. Undeterred by the odds against them, the survivors plot, scheme, and enjoy their mall paradise. As they plan their escape, some incredibly gruesome special effects are deployed, often with a dash of wry humor added for light relief.
Placing the messages from Romero's version--a funny, scary look at consumerist society--on the back burner, the 2004 version of DAWN OF THE DEAD instead concentrates on delivering a witty blood-fest. The zombies appear to have taken their cues from the fast-moving corpses of Danny Boyle's 28 DAYS LATER, and are generally much more agile than their 1978 counterparts. Director Snyder gets the balance between humorous set-pieces and plot development exactly right throughout, producing an enjoyable remake that can easily hold its own alongside the deservedly hailed original film.
Tyler Bates - Composer
Ving Rhames - Actor
Ty Burrell - Actor, EVOLUTION (2001)
Zack Snyder - Director, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Richard P. Rubinstein - Producer
Eric Newman - Executive Producer, THE EMPEROR'S CLUB (2002)
Armyan Bernstein - Screenwriter/Director/Prod.
Barry Armyan Bernstein - Screenwriter/Director/Prod.
Kevin Zegers - Actor, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Dennis E. Jones - Executive Producer, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
George A. Romero - American Horror Director, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
George Romero - American Horror Director, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
Jake Weber - Actor, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Sarah Polley - Actress
James Gunn - Director/Screenwriter, SLITHER (2005)
Thomas A. Bliss - executive producer
Thomas Bliss - executive producer
Denise Cronenberg - Costume Designer/ David's Sister
Andrew Neskoromny - Production Designer, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Matthew F. Leonetti - Director of Photography, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982)
Matthew Leonetti - Director of Photography, FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982)
Michael Kelly - Editor/"Mulan"
Mike Kelly - Editor/"Mulan"
Lindy Booth - American actress, DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
Mekhi Phifer - Actor, CLOCKERS
Niven Howie - EDITOR
- Format: Blu-Ray
- Run Time: 110
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 025195045674
- Genre: Horror
- Rating: R (MPAA) (pervasive strong horror violence and gore, language and sexuality)
- Release Date: January 2010
Theatrical Release: MARCH 19, 2004
"Good zombie fun, the remake of George A. Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD is the best proof in ages that cannibalizing old material sometimes works fiendishly well." - 03/19/2004 Los Angeles Times, p.E11
"Snyder, making a killer feature debut, trades home-made cheesiness for knowing style, revels in the sophistication of modern special effects, and stomps off with the best remake...of a horror classic in memory." - 03/26/2004 Entertainment Weekly, p.51-2
"From a technical point of view, the new DAWN is slicker and more polished, and the acting is better, too." - 03/19/2004 Chicago Sun-Times, p.30
"Snyder comes up with some 'wow' shots....[T]his DEAD is zippier than 1995's retake on VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED." - 03/19/2004 USA Today, p.5E
"[The film] still delivers a pretty mean bite as a gross-out/action shockfest." - 05/01/2004 Box Office, p.31
"[A] reasonably enjoyable shock machine thanks to state-of-the-art effects and an appealing cast..." - 11/01/2004 Premiere, p.102
"It's good, thrilling fun." - 11/11/2004 Rolling Stone, p.118
4 stars out of 5 -- "A slick remake....Synder delivers a movie energy and vision that never dilutes the power of the original." - 12/01/2007 Ultimate DVD, p.89