Around the age I started to actually love movies, one of the first zombie movies (I can’t remember if I had seen it or Shaun of the Dead first) that blew me away was Dawn of the Dead. I am not talking about the 2004 Zack Snyder remake, which is a terrific film in its own way. I am, however, a huge fan of the 1978 original film. The thing that always sucks me in is its absolutely grim and gray atmosphere. It does not have any or all bright exteriors. It will always be my favorite zombie film. It is simply a masterpiece.
Since it is a sequel, it does take place in the same universe as Night of the Living Dead. The characters are different, but it is still the same world. There is no word on what caused the breakout, but it doesn’t really matter. The movie is about survival, not finding a cure or the source.
Dawn of the Dead has created so many spin-offs and knockoffs because it is such a fun idea. The group of survivors that we follow make their way to a mall. They have enough food, guns, clothing, and anything they could ever imagine. Filling the mall is the haunting music of a bygone era, which at the time is what they would be hearing, but to us it really adds to the atmosphere. There are small moments of fun and letting loose, they sweep the mall of all the zombies and secure themselves on the top floor in the employee rooms. Of course other humans try to break in and things go to hell.
If you are a fan of zombie movies and have not seen Dawn of the Dead, there is certainly something wrong with you. If you are looking for a great horror film but don’t want to be horribly scared, this one is for you. Either way, this is a brilliant film that should be seen by all fans of the genre and of zombies.