I have watched the 2004 'Dawn of the Dead' time and time again...and I never ever get bored with it...it grips me each time, and is quite simply amazing and compelling viewing.
I love the way the movie begins with the air of utter 'normality', like it could be a regular melodrama/thriller...you are lulled into a false sense of security! Then, all of a sudden, Ann and Lewis's bedroom alarm clock clicks to '6.37am'...and everything changes FOREVER.
From this point on, from the moment you see young Vivien caked in blood and bearing her teeth, the movie is rapid, dynamic, exciting, horrifying in the extreme and has the delicate 'under taste' of sheer black comedy running throughout...this somehow supplements the gore and gritty suspense perfectly, meaning that you can allow yourself to be genuinely terrified by this movie...yet have the reassuring feeling at the back of your mind that, actually, it's 'ok' really...it IS just a great horror 'yarn'...it takes the edge off your sheer 'terror' as you watch...but not in a detrimental way...somehow it 'works' beautifully and makes this movie, to my mind, utterly unique.
I find the fact that the 'zombies' are vicious and strong and able to run fast all adds to the great sense of 'realism'...I am not a fan of the 'old style' 'Night of the Living Dead'-esque zombie flicks...infact, I find them utterly boring in comparison to Dawn of the Dead.
Scary zombies SHOULD run and growl like werewolves! It grips the viewer and injects the necessary 'pace' that the modern viewer finds irresistable.
This movie is ripe for a sequel, in my view. It ends in an utter cliffhanger, and you never really know if any of the final four 'escapees' survive the final zombie onslaught, which takes place during the closing credits.
I am going to purchase the Director's Cut, as I always felt that the character of Andy had his own 'story' to tell...I am glad to see that the DC explores Andy further. Also, the terrestrial channel seemed to cut odd bits from the cinema/digital pay-per-view/satellite movie channel screenings...I am looking forward to seeing every last bit of gore, terror and unashamedly 'camp', black comedy in full!
I would urge any horror genre fan to sample the delights of 2004's Dawn of the Dead...it is a terrific movie in every conceivable way, flawless scripting, acting and direction...you will not be disappointed.
I cannot comment on the original 1978 movie, as I haven't seen it in full...but I may buy that too, though it will invariably seem dated...and thus less relevant, I guess. But it will be fun to compare both versions.
Dawn of the Dead 2004...a masterpiece of modern film-making.
MARK C EDWARDS.