Rarely have we seen a horror film that found the way to make us smile and laugh, while perfectly isolating its humour scenes from its terrifying moments. Dawn of the Dead, the original, was a masterpiece that succeeded because of its atmosphere and because it played with the feelings of its viewers. This aspect is retained in the remake.
In fact, Dawn of the Dead, even more than the original, simulates an unsuspected pride in humans: we are attached to our race. We could only witness such a widespread attachment if our planet was really assaulted by a foreign entity. Here, the heroes donít hold back: they shoot, saw and smash the zombies to pieces. These acts are particularly relieving from the spectatorís point of view, particularly because the blood splatters and decapitations are extreme. The make-up is convincing and even the children get some face paint because even children are infected. This detail particularly pleased me.
As a part of the trilogy of the dead (Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead), this movie follows the pattern in which human nature, with all its strengths and weaknesses, plays an important role in the development of the story. Sadly, the characters, even though they are distinct from each other in the most part, arenít presented with enough depth. What helps us get attached is the shish kabob of actors that play our heroes (Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Ö) I appreciated the cameos by the original actors and the homage to The Evil Dead. (Special thanks go out to Bruce Campbellís look-alike and his trusty red chainsaw).
Sadly, compared to the original, the zombies only enter the shopping center for a brief moment. There are a few already infected humans who perish inside and return as zombies but they arenít very menacing, probably because they are alone and donít try to hide. What helps us fear them, even though it doesnít respect our mental image of zombies, is that they donít stagger: they run at full speed. This characteristic can also be found in 28 Days Later. There are also many inconsistencies and futilities. They are usually pretexts for certain turnarounds or to help the film last longer. The conclusion, for its part, will frustrate most of you. It is the type of audacious, dark conclusion that is almost essential to such a story.
All things considered, the people involved in Dawn of the Dead knew what they were doing in the most part. This film brings you back to what fans like to define as a zombie flick. It is violent, amusing and original regardless of its small flaws.