Anna and the Apocalypse is a multitude of things pushed into a small package. It’s a traditional zombie tale that won’t be on the radars of a lot of people while still managing to be something different. They manage to accomplish this by mixing a horror staple with song, dance, and a bit of comedy. This all makes it watchable when it looked to have the ability to disappoint.
For Anna (Ella Hunt) and her friends, coming up with the right presents for everyone this Christmas is the least of their worries. This year, all of that is pushed to the side when zombies start popping up and causing havoc across the land. Not only must they fight for their own survival, but this collection of teenagers also have to reach their loved ones as civilization falls apart all around them.
This is one of those cases where the filmmakers don’t try to do too much with what they have by adding more than what they needed to. It’s a crisp 92 minutes and finishes off when it without boring you with excess. These days, you see that too often in cinema as what could be perfectly decent pictures are ruined and lose value because of it. In this case, they do all that they have to do, tell the story they want and finishes it all up without wasting our time.
I guess the only problem that comes from stripping this of its musical elements is that it would then be a typical zombie flick in every way. While I believe it would still be a good movie, it would just be another movie from a genre that hasn’t seen much change since they started popping up decades ago. Based on that, having the characters sing and dance appears to have been the right decision even if it isn’t always executed properly.
There were times where I was watching what was going on and liking it only to be interrupted by a song breaking out and disrupting things. This was something that bothered me in the early going, but it started to work better as the film progressed. That could have been because I was getting used to what was going on, but it could have also been because they found a way to include them more fluidly into what was taking place onscreen after a while.
The characters also play a part in making this what it is. You’ll find that they are lifelike in some ways while still being clichéd in a sense. They carry some real-life attributes with them, but they’re also the kind of characters that we see in films involving zombies and films about teenagers in high school. Even though this could be viewed as a negative in some instances, these guys bring enough personality of their own to assist in creating something that’s a tad bit different.
Anna and the Apocalypse is what you can get when you’re able to effectively blend familiar elements that don’t usually mix together. It’s because of this that we get something that won’t bore us even though it’s still something we’ve already seen before on several occasions in the past. I doubt it will happen, but hopefully, it develops some sort of an audience in America. If it does, we might find filmmakers in the future with a chance to take more risks out there.
Director: John McPhail
Film Length: 92 minutes
Release Date: December 7, 2018
Distributor: Orion Pictures
- Score - 7/107/10